Browsing: law enforcement

72(t) distributions


Q. I’m about to retire at age 47 after 25 years as a federal law enforcement officer. I plan to roll my 401(k) (TSP) over to a traditional IRA and begin taking substantially equal periodic payments per 72(t) from the IRA, which, as I understand, once I start, I have to continue until age 59 ½. I plan to use the annuitization method to make equal monthly withdrawals, but I would like to take the first year’s withdrawal in a lump sum to help pay off some debt. Will the IRS allow that without the 10 percent penalty, or do I have to…

Roth TSP and law enforcement


Q. I am a federal law enforcement officer. I recently read an article that discussed the downside of the Roth TSP for federal law enforcement officers and firefighters. Is this true? ************* Many of you are probably unaware of the serious pitfalls you will encounter if you opt to contribute to the Roth TSP.  For a federal law enforcement officer or firefighter, the Roth TSP is a poor choice. It wasn’t until this week that a reader posed a question to me that caused me to realize what a bad idea the Roth TSP is for many of us. The idea behind…

Meeting the 72(t) exception to the early withdrawal penalty


Q. I am 49 years old and have 24 years of service with the Bureau of Prisons. If I retire at age 51 with 26 years of service and elect a life expectancy withdrawal from my Thrift Savings Plan account, would I be able to change to a specified amount at age 55 without a 10 percent penalty, or will I have to wait until age 59½ to change my withdrawal option to avoid the 10 percent penalty? A. To meet the 72(t) exemption to the early withdrawal penalty, your series of payments cannot change until it has been completed —…

Pay off mortgage with TSP?


Q. I know that you say (almost always) not to pay off the mortgage on retirement with Thrift Savings Plan funds. So when it is a good idea to do so? I’m CSRS Offset ending at GS-14, Step 8 with 32 years of service, $300,000 in TSP, $30,000 in cash on hand, will have no credit card or vehicle debt shortly as we are selling an investment property (taking the tax hit instead of identifying a new investment property because I really don’t want to be a landlord anymore), the usual monthly expenses, and will get the law enforcement/firefighter retirement benefit bump…

Exemption from early withdrawal penalty


Q. I have been reading your responses to the questions of federal agents and early withdrawals of their TSP accounts. The publication, 575, specifically states that law enforcement officers are exempt from the penalty if they are at least in their 50th year and the plan is a “qualified retirement plan.” IRS Form 8880 instructions refer to the TSP as a “qualified retirement plan” and in various other places within the IRS publications. Why do you insist it is not? Can you please clarify your position on this? Also, the IRS defines a law enforcement officer as one that is authorized…

Age 55 exemption


Q. I have more than 20 years of service as a federal law enforcement officer and will turn 55 in 2014. I plan to retire under FERS from my agency this year, before my age 55, and immediately (with no break in service) become re-employed on a full-time basis with another federal agency. I understand that my salary during the period of re-employment will be offset by the amount of my FERS annuity, and that retirement deductions (including Thrift Savings Plan contributions) will be made from my re-employment salary.  I understand further that I would earn a supplemental annuity upon termination…

TSP matching funds


Q. I am a federal law enforcement officer covered by FERS and, by Sept. 30, I will have more than 29 years of service plus more than a year of sick leave. To obtain my annuity beginning Oct. 1, I would like to retire on Sept. 30, but it is in the middle of a pay period. I plan on front-loading my Thrift Savings Plan and TSP catch-up contributions starting in April for the rest of this year to reach the maximum for both. Would there be any TSP match in my last, partial pay period, or should I just…

TSP vs. IRA tax burden to spouse and heirs


Q. I will retire April 30 under FERS (law enforcement agent; I will be 66½ years old) and have been exploring options available regarding my Thrift Savings Plan account. I read with interest your Feb. 4 Federal Times article “Don’t overlook TSP for lowest-cost investment” but have the following questions concerning what happens to my TSP account funds if I predecease my wife/heirs before or after the required minimum distribution takes effect. As the annuitant, upon reaching 70½, I would have 10 years to draw down my TSP funds. What happens if I predecease my wife/heirs during this time frame? It…

Converting TSP to annuity


Q. I am a U.S. Capitol Police officer. I plan to retire in 2014 at age 55, although I can stay until 57. If I convert my TSP funds to an annuity, will I be able to draw on it right away? If not, when? Will I be penalized prior to age 62? A. If you retire during or after the calendar year in which you reach age 55, you will be exempt from the early withdrawal penalty for all of your TSP assets as you withdraw them and may take them within the usual TSP limits, including using some or all…

Matching contributions


Q. I plan to retire under FERS law enforcement on May 30, contributing my full $17,500 and $5,500 catch-up contribution in my first 10 to 12 paychecks. If I purposely make larger contributions early in the year in an attempt to reach the annual maximum contribution before retiring, will I lose out on agency matching contributions? A. Not if you spread the contributions out evenly over the duration of your remaining employment.

1 2