Annuity calculation and TSP collection


Q. I have a two-part question. I am a federal firefighter and, as of December, I will have 25 years and 10 months on the job and I am 50 years old. What is the salary they will be basing my retirement on: base pay or actual pay? When can I collect my Thrift Savings Plan? I would like to receive checks like a retirement.

A. Mike: You may begin withdrawing your TSP balance, or use it to buy an immediate annuity, as soon as you are separated from service.

Reg: Your annuity will be calculated using your basic pay. To see what’s included and excluded from basic pay, go to and scroll to Section 30A1.1-2.


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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

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