Q. I am 50 years old and plan to resign in within two years. I will more than 10 years of service, but my minimum retirement age is 56. Sometime after I turn 56, I plan to submit for a deferred retirement, even though I know I will take a penalty of 5 percent each year under age 62. The Thrift Savings Plan states that “if you are age 55 or older in the year you separate or retire, the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty tax does not apply.” Does this apply to deferred retirements, as well?
A. There is no such thing as “deferred retirement.” You’ll be separating from service and then claiming a deferred annuity. It’s the separation date that counts for the early withdrawal penalty.