Resignation and benefits


Q. I am a FERS employee with 14 years service, age 53. Tired of the pay freeze and “no money for promotions” line. Also tired of doing the jobs of higher paid co-workers while they call in sick two to three days a week.

If I resign, can I take my FERS and Thrift Savings Plan in one lump sum and walk away? I am also a military retiree and have my pension and Tricare health care plans from that, so that is not a concern.

Understanding the tax hit, will I just receive what I contributed, or the fed matching, as well?

A. Mike: If you leave federal service at age 53, and you are not disabled, you may take your TSP vested balance in one lump sum, but you will be subject to the IRS 10 percent early withdrawal penalty.

Reg: You would only receive your contributions to the retirement fund, not the matching ones from the government.


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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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