Retirement and TSP


Q. I’m a Defense Department employee looking to retire in 2019. I attended an Air Force retirement seminar today; I’m not an Air Force employee, but they they allow Defense Logistics Agency employees to attend. The young man presenting the TSP training informed us that we could not or should not transfer funds from our TSP into a Roth IRA when retiring. He said I would incur a large tax that must be paid out of pocket not from my TSP transfer.

He provided us with several option for TSP:

  • full withdrawal.
  • an annuity.
  • a TSP monthly payout.
  • an IRA rollover.

He said the IRA rollover would be limited to a cap of around $18,000 per year. Do you have any information on or anything to add to this subject?

A. There is a lot of information on the subject of distributions from your TSP account, including rollovers after you retire. You question is too general to answer here, but if you’ll review all of the relevant information available at, and then submit any specific questions you have to the forum, I will respond with specific answers.

In general, I don’t know of a good reason to move your money out of the TSP until you need it for spending. You should do everything you can to keep it there for as long as possible. There is no better place to invest for retirement.


About Author

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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