Q. I made the costly mistake of rolling over my Thrift Savings Plan into a traditional IRA. I had to file a Form 72(t) to take out payments until I reached age 59½. Then I moved to another firm, filed a new 72(t), and now I violated the original 72(t), and take a 10 percent retroactive penalty.
A. I’ve written many times about the reasons not to roll your TSP account over to an IRA. This illustrates one of them — that you may be giving up penalty-free access to your funds. I’ve also written many times about the pitfalls of 72(t) withdrawals, how strict the rules are and how stiff the penalties can be for violating those rules. See, I wasn’t kidding!