Q. I’m a Defense Department firefighter (special category). At what can I withdraw my Thrift Savings Plan without incurring any penalties?
A. If you’ll settle for specific monthly payments, you can withdraw it any time after you separate from service without penalty. If you want a lump sum or monthly payments that don’t fall within the limits imposed by Internal Revenue Code section 72(t), then you’ll have to wait until you reach age 59½ unless you separate from federal service during or after the calendar year in which you reach age 55. In the latter case, any withdrawal you make will be exempt from penalty.