Changing to TSP annuity 4 years into retirement?


Q: When I retire at age 56, can I take monthly payments until age 60 and then convert part of my Thrift Savings Plan balance to an annuity? Interest rates are at all-time lows, but in four years, with a potential rate increase and me reaching age 60, my monthly annuity payment would be higher than what I could get now.

A: Once you begin monthly payments, your only options are to change the payment amount once each year or request the distribution of your remaining account balance. Purchasing a TSP annuity is not an option at that point. You could, however, have the remainder of your account distributed to an IRA and then use part of your IRA to purchase a retail annuity.


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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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