Required TSP withdrawl at 70


Q: I retired from federal service on Jan. 3, 2008. With accumulated sick leave I had about 42 years of service. I was 67 years old when I retired. I had been investing in TSP on a regular basis. When I retired I left my funds in TSP. I will turn 70 on Sept. 12. Am I required to withdraw the funds when I turn 70? I have heard from a financial adviser group that former federal employees with TSP must move their funds into either a lump sum withdrawl or an annuity when they reach 70. Is this true?

A: While I’m sure that there are many sales reps who would love to get their hands on your TSP balance, that probably isn’t best option for you. Since you don’t need the money to live on, you should try to leave it in the TSP for as long as possible.

You can request that TSP begin sending you monthly checks that comply with the minimum distribution requirements that start when you reach age 70 1/2. Use Form TSP 70, which, along with more information about required minimum distributions, is available at If you don’t need the money, you can just reinvest it in a taxable investment account.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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