Q. I am divorced and my ex received a lump sum payment from my TSP account. When can she begin receiving benefits? She is 62 years old now. Are her benefits in anyway tied to my age and retirement? A. Once her share has been removed from your TSP account and distributed to her, it is hers to do with as she chooses. Her options are no longer connected with your age.
Q. I am happy that under the TSP Modernization Act governing TSP withdrawals that I have the options to withdraw my funds monthly, quarterly or annually. If I depended on my TSP for one of my retirement income streams, are there any advantages or disadvantages when I choose how to withdraw my money given the choices now available? A. You should start with monthly distributions since that will enable you to most closely match your withdrawals to your spending.
Q. My brother, and only sibling, died recently. I am the executor and beneficiary of his estate. He never married, nor did he have children. I am inheriting: $770,000 from an employer 401(k) managed by Vanguard; $73,000 from a past 403(b) pension; and $320,000 in life insurance proceeds. I am 59, receive a military pension ($60,000/year), and am employed full time by the federal government. I have $500,000 in the TSP. Can any of the inherited funds be rolled into my TSP? Can any or all of the inherited funds be combined into a single fund? What would you do? A. The TSP…
Q. My ex-husband has given me the forms to receive money from his TSP account, but what form do I use to roll it over into my IRA account? A. The distribution request form should contain a section where you can direct the proceeds to be paid to your IRA custodian for your benefit. If not, you’ll have to roll the funds over yourself using your IRA custodian’s deposit form.
Q. I am vested with TSP should I separate from the Department of Veterans Affairs. If I get fired due to unapproval of a previously approved accommodation, will it affect my eligibility for my full TSP funds in the future? A. No. Your vested TSP funds are yours to keep.
Q. I was offered VERA at office. I would like to accept, but have a TSP loan balance for a home loan that won’t get paid by the 90-day deadline. My retirement is set for July 2020. When I separate and still have outstanding balance, how will I get taxed and at what percentage rate? I was not due to retire until May 2027. Also, will it affect annuity payments, and how long do I have to pay the loan back? A. Any unpaid balance will be declared a taxable distribution and added to your tax return for that year as ordinary income. The tax…
Q. Which would be more advantageous to reduce my annual federal tax bill: contribute more into TSP or withhold more and have more from my salary go toward federal taxes? Am I correct that contributing more into TSP would go toward retirement savings, reduce my taxable income and lower my federal tax bill? A. It’s impossible to say which will be “best.” One is prepaying your federal taxes, and the other is deferring income tax from the current year into a future year. If you can do both, do both. If you can only do one or other, then pay…
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 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.