Q. I read an article that says law enforcement and firefighters have to pay a 10 percent penalty if withdrawing prior to age 59-1/2. In 2019, I will have 25 years of federal firefighter service, so I was caught off guard. Can you site a regulation that says federal firefighters do not have to pay the 10 percent penalty and can begin withdrawing immediately upon retiring with years and/or age requirements met?
A. Under current law, your service time and status is irrelevant. Unless you retire during or after the year in which you reach age 55, or qualify for one of the other exceptions listed on Page 7 of the notice at https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tsp-536.pdf, you will be subject to the early withdrawal penalty until you reach age 59-1/2.