Taxable distribution vs. paying off TSP loan


Q. I have separated from federal service with an existing Thrift Savings Plan loan. My intent is to take a lump-sum withdrawal and take a taxable distribution versus paying off the loan. In the end, will I end up paying more or less tax if I were to pay off the loan versus taxable distribution?

A. It’s impossible to say what you’ll pay “in the end,” but if you repay the loan on time, your tax on the money owed will be zero until it is ultimately withdrawn.


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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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