Browsing: firefighter

Annuity calculation and TSP collection

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Q. I have a two-part question. I am a federal firefighter and, as of December, I will have 25 years and 10 months on the job and I am 50 years old. What is the salary they will be basing my retirement on: base pay or actual pay? When can I collect my Thrift Savings Plan? I would like to receive checks like a retirement. A. Mike: You may begin withdrawing your TSP balance, or use it to buy an immediate annuity, as soon as you are separated from service. Reg: Your annuity will be calculated using your basic pay.…

Firefighters' benefits

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Q. Is Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance, survivor benefit and Thrift Savings Plan matching based on GS base pay or firefighter base pay? A. Mike: TSP matching is based on your pay. Reg: Your annuity will be based on your highest three consecutive years of basic pay. To determine what is included in the term “basic pay” for a firefighter, you’ll have to check with your personnel and payroll offices.

Roth TSP and 59 1/2

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Q. Federal employees now have the option of investing a portion of their Thrift Savings Plan contributions into the Roth option. As many of us know, contributions to the Roth TSP are from after-tax income. The benefit comes from tax-free earnings. The way I understand the rules, we must contribute to Roth for five years and not make any withdrawals until we are age 59½. The traditional TSP also uses the 59½ rule, unless we retire at age 55 or later. When we make withdrawals from our TSP account, the money is divided proportionately from both the traditional and Roth funds. For example:…

FERS firefighter retirement

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Q. I am a federal firefighter and a FERS employee. In 2022, I will have 21 years of creditable service and four years of bought-back active military time and be 48 years old. 1. Will I be able to retire under the provisions of 25 years of service at any age? 2. Will I receive the special category retirement percentages (1.7 x high-3 x creditable service, etc.)? 3. Will I receive the special retirement supplement until 62? 4. Will I not be able to withdraw any Thrift Savings Plan annuities until 62? A. Reg: 1. No, you won’t be able…

TSP and the fiscal cliff

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Q. I am a federal forestry tech (firefighter) and am facing mandatory retirement in 1½ years. I am wondering if the fiscal cliff will affect the Thrift Savings Plan like a couple years ago and the bottom will fall out. If so, would it be prudent to move my TSP more to more conservative accounts? A. No one knows what the future holds, but market timing only adds unnecessary risk to your investment strategy. Select and implement the asset allocation scheme that supports your goals with the minimum of risk and stick to it. That’s the safest bet.

Avoiding the early withdrawal penalty

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Q. I am a firefighter with a county fire department in Florida. As such, I am part of the Florida Retirement System in the special risk class. I started my career early and will be eligible for retirement with full benefits and no FRS penalties by age 48. (This is 25 years of service.) However, because of the Internal Revenue Service penalty for retiring before age 50, I would receive a 10 percent tax penalty in addition to the normal taxes I will pay on my retirement income. I understand that I will receive the penalty of 10 percent. However,…

Can I avoid TSP early withdrawal penalties?

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Q: In a Dec. 13 blog post, you answered the following question: “I am a federal firefighter under CSRS Special Retirement due to retire in November 2011 at age 50. At what age will I be able to collect on my TSP retirement?” You said that the writer would be subject to the early withdrawal penalty until age 59 1/2 unless the withdrawal was rolled over, used to buy a life annuity or met one of the other “specific exceptions to the rule.” I’m an 1811-series federal employee, age 52, and will be retiring in 2011. I’ve read that I…