Author Mike Miles

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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com and view his blog at money.federaltimes.com.

Q. I will turn 60 next year and plan to retire with 30 years of service. I am invested in the L2020 Fund. Upon retiring, can I stay there or do I need to move my money? A. You may keep your TSP account, and manage it as you like, for life.

Q. I know TSP funds can be rolled into an IRA, and IRA funds rolled into TSP. Is there any limit on how many times money can be moved back and forth? A. There is no limit that I am aware of.

Q. I will be 62 next year and am a CSRS Offset employee. I would like to know if I can apply at that time for Social Security benefits and retire afterwards (within a few months), and whether a salary is reduced as it is with the pension.  A. You may apply for Social Security benefits while you are still working. Your earned income will not be reduced by the offset provision of your retirement system.

Q. It is my understanding that once you have accumulated 30 years of substantial Social Security contributions your Social Security payments will not be reduced by your GPO. Is this true? A. This is not true. The GPO does not apply to your own Social Security benefit. It applies only to a Social Security survivor benefit, and it is not affected by your years of Substantial Earnings under Social Security. If your Social Security benefit is subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision, or WEP, the effect of the WEP is affected by the number of years of Substantial Earnings you…

Q. I am currently CSRS Offset. As such, I pay Social Security and the CSRS 7 percent pension contribution. Do my CSRS Offset payments to Social Security count toward the 30 years required to avoid the windfall elimination provision? A. Any earnings that are subject to Social Security tax count toward satisfying the Substantial Earnings calculation for the WEP.

Q. I retired under FERS and receive the supplement. Will the sale of a second home be considered wages, thus reducing my supplement or completely eliminating it?   A. Proceeds from the sale of a home are not considered wages for any purpose that I am aware of.

Q. I currently have all my TSP balance ($210,000) in the L2030 Fund. I will retire in 2030, but will not be withdrawing any money (hopefully) until about 2040. I would like to move to a little more aggressive L Fund. If I move some or all of my L2030 fund balance to L2040, will I lose any money in the move? A. There is no cost assessed against your account to transfer your funds among and between the various TSP investment options.

Q. I was born in August 1953 and my wife was born in July 1954. Neither my wife nor I have filed for Social Security benefits. My wife will not qualify for benefits based on her own work record. Under the new law, am I still eligible to use the strategy known as “file and suspend” so my wife can collect spousal benefits when she turns 66? A. It is my understanding that the “file and suspend” strategy for claiming Social Security benefits is no longer allowed, regardless of your age.

Q. I have 43 years of service: 22 years under CSRS, which includes 4 years military active duty that I “ bought back,” as well as 21 years under FERS. There was no break in service. Will my 4 years of active duty, in which I paid Social Security, give me essentially 25 years of “ substantial earnings” towards the WEP provision? A. It depends upon how much you earned year. The schedule of annual earnings required to qualify as “substantial” is available at https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf. You can compare the earnings for year as listed in your Social Security benefit statement…

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