Roth withdrawal


Q. I’m 47 and plan on retiring at 56 with 34 years of service. If I open a Roth Thrift Savings Plan account, can I withdraw all of the money from the Roth account and withdraw a small monthly amount from my traditional account when I retire? The TSP website says I can make withdrawals (1)  on a prorata basis between the Roth and traditional accounts or  (2) you can separately transfer any portion of your Roth or traditional account to an IRA or other eligible employer plan. I wanted to withdraw all of the Roth money while my husband is still working and we are in a higher tax bracket. I will be 60 when he retires. If the Roth amount can only be withdrawn in total by transferring to an IRA, the earliest I can have access to the Roth money without a penalty is when I’m 59½? Am I reading that right?

A. You may not selectively withdraw or roll your TSP Roth assets.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

1 Comment

  1. The TSP website in “a New TSP Element” specifically says when you withdraw, you will be able to separately transfer any portion of your Roth and traditional balances to IRAs or other eligible employer plans. This should get around the pro-rata problem.

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