Required Minimum Distributions and TSP


Q. I am leaving my monies in the TSP because of all the benefits the program offers, but I was wondering about after I turn 70 1/2 and Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) kicks in. Due to my financial condition I don’t need to start taking funds from my TSP at this time; I was going to hold out a couple more years.

One of the features of the TSP program I like is the ability to vary, from year to year, what I would like to receive monthly. Can this still occur when the RMD kicks in? I presume it can but I can’t go below the minimum RMD annual amount — is this correct?

A. Yes, and it’s a little better than you think. You may continue to vary the monthly amount, including to an amount that is lower than what is needed to satisfy the annual RMD. If the amount is less, the TSP will send you an extra payment at the end of the year to make sure that the RMD is satisfied.


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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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