Postponed retirement and using my thrift savings


Q. I work for the U.S. Postal Service and would like to resign at 58 with 24 years of service. I will postpone my annuity date till I am 60 years of age, but I need to tap into my Thrift Savings Plan to tide me over for the two years I am waiting for my pension. Will I face the 10 percent penalty since I am not 59 1/2? I am retiring, but delaying the pension to avoid the 5 percent per year under 62. Would I need to use the lifetime average or could I set the amount I want to withdraw monthly? Can I change the amount if I need more or less than I plan for?

A. If you leave federal service at age 58, your subsequent withdrawals from the TSP will be exempt from the early withdrawal penalty.


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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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