Q. I am having difficulty finding the definition of substantial earnings. My Social Security statement shows “Your Taxed Social Security Earnings.” Is that the same as substantial earnings? If not, how do I find out what my substantial earnings are? I have the chart listing the substantial earnings for each year.
Q. I am a full-time federal technician in the Air National Guard. I am 54 years old with 33-plus years of military time and 27-plus years as a federal technician (under FERS). I have recently been involuntarily separated from the Air National Guard. This means I am losing both my full-time technician position as well as my part-time military position. I understand that I will be able to draw my FERS retirement (based on my total federal time) along with the Federal Retirement Supplement. Based on my involuntary separation, am I able to start drawing from my TSP without penalty?
Q. If I roll over funds outside of my employer-sponsored plan into my employer-sponsored plan, will these rolled-over monies come under the same required minimum distribution rules as the employer-sponsored plan?
Q. Could a retired federal employee transfer funds out of TSP into an IRA near the end of one year, then buy a QLAC at the beginning of the next year with 25 percent of the funds in the IRA, and then transfer the remaining balance of the IRA money back into the TSP? If so, this would be a way to use TSP money to purchase a QLAC, thus reducing the minimum required distributions from the TSP account.
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.