A. I was looking for some information regarding VERA and what effects it will have on benefits including TSP. I heard that you cannot withdrawal from TSP until age 55 without penalty. I was also told when I called the TSP helpline that even with a VERA, if you leave before age 55, you cannot withdrawal from TSP until age 59½ to avoid penalty. Does anyone know if what I was told is correct? I find it hard to figure things out with the TSP publications available. And you never know if the person you spoke with really knows. Can you…
Q. I understand the lump-sum annual leave payment at retirement cannot be put into the TSP for deferred tax or matching purposes. However, can you elect to defer to receive the lump-sum payment until the following calendar year, such that it counts as earned income in that following year rather than the year you retire? If nothing else, it would at least count as earned income on the basis of which I can make another year’s worth of contributions to my brokerage Roths.
Q. I am affected by Windfall Elimination Provision but am also eligible for Social Security. Is the dollar amount for “substantial earnings” the dollar amount on the W-2 under Social Security wages, or is the dollar amount listed in the section for wages, tips and other compensation? I have looked at the Social Security Administration brochure on WEP, and it never states specifically. It makes a difference.
Q. I am retiring May 1. I want to pull some of my savings in TSP for a line of credit on my home to send my child through college (she graduates May 6) and to pay off the rest on my home so I will be secure as a single mom. I want to use the rest for an annuity. How much will taxes be for the withdrawal?
Correction: A previous version of this post misidentified the the tax-exemption characteristic of a Traditional IRA. This post has since been corrected to explain a Traditional IRA is not tax-exempt. Q. I’m retiring at 50 years of age after 22 years in federal law enforcement. I’m considering withdrawing all my TSP funds to a financial institution under a tax-exempt traditional IRA. I understand there’s no federal tax liability; however, I reside in the state of California. Is there a state tax liability for the withdrawal?
Q. I have recently retired from the U.S. Postal Service under CSRS. I had been contributing the maximum amount toward my TSP. When I left, I received my balance of annual leave in a lump payment. I am rolling my TSP over to a Fidelity account to have more choices with regard to withdrawal options. Since the money from annual leave pay is treated as earnings, can I place some of it in the IRA account?
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?
Q. I am looking for a clear answer in regard to TSP home loans. I am considering retirement in the next year. I am eligible to retire today. If I utilize a TSP home loan now for my primary residence (and planned retirement residence) and retire before the loan is paid in full, will I be hit with a penalty? Can I utilize a one-time payout at time of retirement to pay the loan in full without incurring a penalty?