Q. I retired December 2010, at age 53. I would like to withdraw my 401(k) but understand the penalties involved since I separated before age 55. Under “exceptions” in the tax code there is a “qualified public safety employee” exception to the rule. Do 6C government employees fall under this?
A. To the best of my knowledge, the qualified public safety employee exception only applies to defined benefit pension plans, not defined contribution plans like the TSP or a 401(k). A bill to change this – HR 6157 – was introduced in 2008, but never made it out of committee.