Q: I know I can receive a monthly payment once I retire, I can take all my money out when I retire, and I can leave my money in TSP until I am 70 1/2. Someone told me that there are some restrictions about taking my money out. I am 58 and have 35 years service so when I retire I intend to keep my money in TSP. I know that when I am 70 ½ I have to start taking money out. I want to know if, say five years down the road, I decid I want to take some of my money out. Can I take a lump sum, or do I have to take it all out? Do I only get one withdrawal from the time I retire to when I hit 70 ½. Can I take part of the money out and leave the rest?
A: You are allowed one partial, lump-sum withdrawal from the TSP before you begin taking regular monthly distributions. Once regular monthly payments have begun, you may request a full and final distribution of your account balance at any time.