Q. I am a 52-year-old federal employee with plans to retire at 54. My minimum retirement age is 59 and 2 months. I will set up the required substantially equal periodic payments for five years to avoid the tax penalty, which will take me to age 59. Does waiting until I am 55 change the plan I have outlined?
A. If you wait to separate from federal service until Jan. 1 of the calendar year in which you will reach age 55, or later, your TSP distributions will be exempt from the early withdrawal penalty.