Q. I am an active-duty service member and will be eligible for retirement in about seven years. I have contributed the maximum amount allowed to my TSP account but have only been contributing for roughly five years. I maintain a large amount of cash in my personal checking account because I’m not sure I know how to invest it properly. I feel like I could be getting a better return on it somewhere but just don’t know the best place to put it. I own a small condo that we pay mortgage on that I rent, but honestly I wish I could…
Q. I am a FERS employee with the U.S. Postal Service. I plan on leaving this summer when I’m 58. I have read that I can be less than 59½ years old to withdraw from TSP and not be penalized for early withdrawal, as long as I am completely separated from USPS. Is this true? Also, along with my pension, I plan on with drawing about $1,200 per month from my TSP. Will I be taxed less by taking out monthly amounts than if I took out the entire amount?
Q. I retired in 2011 under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA). I had 25 years of service and was 53 years old. I worked in the U.S. Postal Service’s sales and business development department. I was in an acting level 21 position at $83,000 a year. My normal level was 19 with $72,000 a year. It has been 5½ years. I am 59 and have been getting the supplement with my pension for 3 years. If I went back to my level 19 position at $72,000, what happens to my TSP?
Q. I am a veteran and a federal employee at a VA Hospital. I am under FERS. I just turned 56 on July 30, 2016, and I have a total of 27 years-plus of federal service. Last August I filed my disability retirement because of my disabilities, and the papers are still being processed. Hopefully they will finalize it by next month or this month. If I withdraw all my TSP (lump sum), will there be a penalty?
Q. I am a current employee with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security) with 13 years of service. I am considering transitioning to a part-time (20 hours) position with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Will I still be able to contribute to TSP? Can I contribute the maximum? Are there matching funds when you work part time? How will my part-time service reduce my retirement calculation? I am trying to gain more work-life balance and want to understand the financial ramifications before I make any decisions.
Q. I received a check for my retirement from American Funds, and they had taken out federal income tax, so I received the net check. The check was dated Dec. 30, 2016, but I just received this check Jan. 12, 2017. My husband and I still file taxes, and I am 69½ years old. Do I have to show the net check on our 2016 income tax returns or do I show this on our 2017 taxes?
Q. I’m 52 years old with 31 years of U.S. Postal Service time. I am contemplating leaving my federal job early. I know my minimum retirement age is 56. I would like to keep my health insurance and life insurance for my family. What are my options at this point? Deferred or postponed? Will I be able to still receive my Social Security supplement at 56? What about the money in my TSP and FERS accounts?
Q. Retirees who remain in the TSP cannot make contributions into the various funds, but they can make interfund transfers (IFT) and redistribute their money into different funds. Are retirees subject to the same TSP rule that no more than two IFTs can be done per month, or are retirees subject to a different rule regarding the number of times they can make such transfers?
Q. I will be eligible for retirement on July 7, 2017. I will be age 56 and have 30 years in. I came in under FERS. I’ve been told I would fall within the exception, meaning I would not be penalized an additional 10 percent if I take my money from my TSP before age 59½. As you know, when someone gets close to retirement, there are a lot of financial advisers showing up to guide you. The problem I have is they are telling me I can’t take my TSP until age 59½, and I know this is not true. Can…
Q. I am in a position to buy back five years and nine months of service for just fewer than $5,000. At 63 years old, I have 26-plus years of service before the buyback. I wanted to take a TSP withdrawal to pay it back. If I withdraw that amount, do I have to pay it back? Would it make a significant difference for my retirement to buy that time back? What would the trade-off be concerning a withdrawal to the benefits received with the bought-back time?