Q. I will be 57 in 2015 and will have 34 years under FERS. I have a large balance in the ROTH IRA account in my TSP. If I retire before 59-1/2, will I be taxed on the money I withdraw from my TSP? I have $600,000 in the 401K and $300,000 in the Roth. I plan to leave the money in the TSP and take out $30,000 per month. A. Since you will be retiring during or after the calendar year in which you reached age 55, your subsequent TSP withdrawals will be exempt from the early withdrawal penalty.
Q. I am 68 years old and retired under Civil Service. Will I be penalized 20 percent if I withdraw my TSP funds in a single payment? Will the federal government withhold federal taxes on the funds before any penalties?
Q. I have read conflicting information concerning VCP to ROTH conversion and the five-year rule. Based on this information, there may be a difference between the funds converted and the interest income generated in the ROTH account. Can you explain how the five-year rule applies in each case? A. The five-year waiting period for the converted funds and the interest they produce will begin on Jan. 1 of the year of the conversion. Check page 71 of IRS Publication 590 for an explanation of the rules. You should consult a qualified tax adviser regarding the rules and how they apply…
Q. What sources of income are considered in calculating the substantial income that is defined for purposes of reducing the Windfall Elimination Provision? W-2 wages? Self-employment wages reported on a 941? Contract wages reported on a 1099? State teacher retirement pension? One time lump-sum supplemental pension amounts? A. Any earnings which were subject to Social Security taxes count. Check your Social Security statement for a history of these earnings.
Q. If I take 5 percent or the maximum interest my retirement plan provides, does this violate the 72t definition of reasonable interest rate, and would I end up paying the 10 percent penalty? A. 72t distributions must be computed using one of three specific formulas, and the rules are strict. Anything else will not qualify for the exemption. You should work with a qualified tax adviser before initiating any payments.
Q. I’m 68 and still working, and I started drawing Social Security when I turned 66 two years ago. How do I calculate how much taxes will come out of my Social Security, TSP and FERS retirement checks? A. You will find the rules for tax withholding from TSP distributions in the table on Page 3 of the notice at https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tsp-536.pdf.
Q. Upon retirement I want to transfer my Roth TSP out so I have more flexibility with taxes. Currently, I have all of my TSP money invested into the Roth TSP. Once retired, I want to transfer all but $1 to another firm into both a regular IRA rollover and Roth IRA rollover so that the two types of TSP accounts are no longer co-mingled. I then want to transfer my regular IRA back into the TSP in order to keep the two types of accounts separate (regular TSP at the TSP and Roth TSP with outside brokerage firm in…
Q. My birthday is June 30, 1944, so I turn 70-1/2 on Dec. 30, 2014. Do I draw on this by Dec.30? Or if I wait until April, do I have to do two payments in 2015? A. Deferring some or all of your 2014 RMD into 2015 will reduce your taxable income for 2014, but increase your taxable income for 2015.
Q. Are all TSP withdrawals subject to the 20 percent federal tax withholding? Including full withdrawal by way of monthly payments? And is this done automatically when you set up your payout options with TSP or do you need to complete a form? A. Not all TSP withdrawals are subject to mandatory withholding. See the table on Page 3 of the notice at https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tsp-536.pdf for the rules. Mandatory and default withholding happens automatically. Anything else, you’ll have to request.
Q. Are all TSP withdrawals subject to the 20-percent federal tax withholding, including full withdrawal by way of monthly payments? And is this done automatically when you set up your payout options with TSP or do you need to complete a form? A. Not all TSP withdrawals are subject to mandatory withholding. See the table on Page 3 of the notice at https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tsp-536.pdf for the rules. Mandatory and default withholding happens automatically. Anything else, you’ll have to request.