Post-retirement use of TSP


Q. I will be retiring from federal civil service in a few years at the age of 71, and I have 2 rollover IRAs from previous employers, plus my current TSP. When I retire, the TSP will be used for G Fund investments only, with equity investments in the IRAs. My TSP balance is not large since I began federal service as a second career.

I would like to keep my 2 IRAs fully invested and use the TSP G Fund to fund all my annual RMDs each April based on the calculated total of all three of those tax deferred sources. I would like to keep about three years’ worth of RMDs in the TSP G Fund (about $300,000). For this strategy to work, I would need to roll-over additional funds from my other two IRAs every so often to ‘top up’ the G Fund so that I will have about three years of ‘risk free’ money to cover my RMD and income-tax bill.C

Can I roll money into the TSP from my IRAs after retirement once every year or two to cover the RMDs due from all of my tax-deferred accounts? And can I make an annual withdrawal of my RMD in the first quarter of each year to pay my taxes and keep the remainder in a bank account for living expenses?

A. You may transfer money into the TSP at any time and as often as you like. You may not take annual lump-sum distributions from your TSP account. You will have to satisfy the RMD from that account using automatic monthly distributions.


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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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