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?
Q. I plan on retiring next August at 57 years old. I would like to buy an immediate annuity but do not want to buy the MetLife FERS annuity. Their interest rates for the annuity are extremely low compared to other annuities. When I retire at 57 years old, can I buy another annuity and avoid paying 20 percent upfront tax when buying that annuity? Also, can I get my payments without the 10 percent penalty for not being 59½?
Q. I am 58 years old and have been with the Transportation Security Administration for 14 years. My TSP account is down to whatever the government has put into it. I had taken out money to live on, as I am looking at a disability retirement due to some vertigo issues. They told me I can’t take out the final amount until I am 59½ — that will be another year. Is there a way to get those funds released prior to that due to hardship? I have used up all my sick and annual leave and savings due to this…
Q. I’m a few years out from retirement but want to plan carefully for that day. A lot is written about earning money from outside sources (e.g., non-federal employment or self-employment) and how it affects Social Security benefits. What I want to know is if I retired today under the $15,480-allowed outside-income criteria, would my FERS annuity and any TSP income (either annuity or withdrawal) be included in that $15,480-income ceiling, or are they treated separately thereby allowing me to receive my full Social Security benefit, FERS annuity, TSP income and outside income together without reductions?
Q. I’m retiring at the end of May 2017 with 25 years of civil service under FERS. I’m considering maximizing my TSP contribution (15 percent equaling $18,000) and TSP-C contribution ($6,000) in 11 pay periods before retirement. What will be the amount of government matching?