Penalty passed on to spouse?


Q. I am 62, retiring from the Postal Service after 45 years of government service and wish to take a set amount of money from my Thrift Savings Plan account on a monthly basis. If I should I pass away prior to my wife becoming age 59½ years of age, would she have to pay the 10 percent penalty?

A. No, the penalty does not apply to distributions made on account of the death of the account holder.


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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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