Q. I am planning retirement, as a FERS law enforcement officer, at age 56, with 26 years of service. If I take a specified dollar monthly amount from my TSP at the time of separation, which is not based on life expectancy, it is my understanding that it will not be subject to the early withdrawal penalty of 10 percent.   However, must I continue to take this same payment as a specifically equal periodic payment (SEPP) until I turn 59 1/2, or may I change the monthly amount that is being withdrawn at the end of the year, without causing an early withdrawal penalty?  Second, if I wanted to stop receiving payments altogether,  to resume withdrawals at sometime after age 59 1/2, is that permissible?

A. Since your are retiring from federal service during or after the year in which you reach age 55, you will not be subject to the early withdrawal penalty.




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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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