Browsing: FERS

Early withdrawal penalty

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Q. I will be 52 years old March 9. I am covered under FERS, and I have 31 years of federal service. If my base offers an early-out this year, I plan to take it. I have a substantial balance in the Thrift Savings Plan and would like to withdraw it in its entirety when I take the early-out so I can invest it in my daughter’s business. 1. Will I be penalized for withdrawing my TSP funds early? If so, how much? I know I will be taxed, and I am OK with that. My husband plans to keep…

Avoiding early withdrawal penalty

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Q. I am under FERS and my minimum retirement age is 56. I plan to take regular retirement at age 58 with 34 years of service. I would like to take level monthly payments, rather than a Thrift Savings Plan annuity, as my TSP withdrawal choice starting immediately upon retirement. Can I do this without incurring the 10 percent penalty for being under age 59½? A. If you retire from federal service at age 58, you will be exempt from the early withdrawal penalty for TSP withdrawals of any kind.

TSP administrative fees

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Q. I am a federal employee under FERS. My financial adviser claims that the famously low Thrift Savings Plan administrative fees increase substantially after a federal employee separates from service. He is using this as justification to roll over my TSP into one of his firm’s IRAs. Is it true? A. Not true. The TSP’s expenses are the same for all participants, employed or retired. In the future, you should avoid confusing a salesperson with an adviser.

Early withdrawal penalty

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Q. I retired from civil service in January 2012 with 25 years contributing to CSRS and FERS. I will be 59½ in April. I plan to make a partial withdrawal and have the balance as monthly payments when I turn 60. Will I incur an additional 10 percent early withdrawal penalty before age 59½ since I retired or do I need to wait until 59½? Do I need to wait until 60 to begin receiving monthly payments, or can that start any time? A. Since you retired after the calendar year in which you reached age 55, your Thrift Savings…

TSP agency contributions

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Q. I was hired into federal service Sept. 28, 1992. At this point, shouldn’t the government have started contributing to a Thrift Savings Plan account in my name 1 percent of my salary automatically? Contributions didn’t begin until I manually enrolled in TSP a year later. This seems to be the bit from the TSP website that applies to me: “If you are a FERS participant and were hired before Aug. 1, 2010: * The TSP would have begun receiving automatic contributions equal to 1% of your pay from your agency — beginning with your first pay period. If you…

When to collect TSP

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Q. I am a federal air technician with the Air National Guard. I have 34 years in the Guard and 27 years as a federal full-time technician. I am in FERS and have a minimum retirement age of 56. I will be 53 this year. It has been communicated to me that I will probably not be retained this year, meaning that Dec. 31, 2014, I will be involuntarily retired, thus losing my full (technician) and part-time (traditional Guard) employment. When can I begin collecting my retirement pay, Social Security, Thrift Savings Plan? Are there any penalties if I was…

Starting TSP withdrawals now vs. at 70 1/2

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Q. I retired under FERS two years ago, and I haven’t needed to touch my Thrift Savings Plan account so far. I am receiving Office of Personnel Management, Social Security and military retirements. I am 68½ years old. I just received a 100 percent Veterans Affairs Department disability award, which will change my taxable military retirement to a nontaxable VA retirement. I don’t think this will have any effect on my long-term life expectancy. I have determined that I do not want to elect an annuity on withdrawing from my TSP. I am considering immediately starting a monthly TSP withdrawal…

Starting TSP disbursements

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Q. I think I will be retiring Dec. 31, 2015 (under FERS) since my minimum retirement age is 56, and will reach it on Dec. 21, 2015. I will have 31½ years in federal civilian service. Can I start my Thrift Savings Plan monthly allotments right away (I have over $390,000 as a balance as of today) to supplement my 31 percent of salary from FERS retirement and special retirement supplement? A. Yes, you will be able to begin withdrawing from your TSP account as soon as TSP receives notice from your agency.

Taxation on transfers

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Q. I am married, 60 years old and a FERS employee. I am not sure when I plan to retire, but I have a Thrift Savings Plan account and other investments. I would like to transfer as much as I can to the TSP account to have the best return. How will I be taxed on the money if it is going from one investment company to my account and then directly into TSP? Will it be taxable income for 2014 even if it was just a transfer? A. Transfers from a retirement plan account into the TSP are not taxable.

TSP loan

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Q. I’m planning on retiring this year at age 62 under FERS. I will have an outstanding Thrift Savings Plan loan balance of $16,000 and was not planning on repaying the rest of the balance and was needing to find out if the outstanding balance will be considered income and taxed with my other income for the year at the end of the year, since it will be tagged as taxable distribution? A. Yes, any loan balance outstanding 90 days after separation will be declared a taxable distribution at that time and reported as ordinary income for that year.

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