Q. I am in the FERS retirement plan with 30-plus years of service and a plan to retire at age 63 with 42 years of service. I have most of my TSP money in the traditional TSP, but have recently began putting all of my contributions and catch up contributions into ROTH TSP only. I would like to avoid required minimum distributions on my ROTH TSP funds when I retire by transferring this money out of the TSP system into a brokerage account. Is this possible?

Q. I began federal civil service 10/22/1983 and retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture 5/13/2013 on an “early out” offer. For my nearly 30 years of service, I never left CSRS, paid Social Security, and qualified fully for CSRS Benefits at my retirement. I did, however, participate in the employee-only [no match from my agency] paid deduction that was an “option” for CSRS to build a THRIFT Saving Program that currently has an approximate current value of $235,000. I retired early and have been receiving monthly retirement benefits since 5/13/2013 [and thus a substantially reduced monthly benefit, but at my…

Q. Do you know what the federal withholding tax percentage is these days? I’ve heard it used to be 25 percent, but with the tax cuts in 2018 is it now lower? I’m retiring on 12/31/18 and trying to guesstimate how much will be taken out of my annual leave lump sum payment, which will be for 388 hours of leave. Is the withholding percentage determined independently by each federal agency?

Q. I am 59 and retired in 2015 at 57 from a federal law enforcement position. I started a consulting LLC in Texas in 2018 and do not take regular draws from the company account. I am currently receiving Social Security supplement along with my pension. Do the gross earnings of my LLC count toward the earnings test even when I do not take a draw equal to or greater than the earnings limit set for the current year 2018? Or, if I take a draw and maintain that amount under the limit, would any remaining funds in the LLC…

Q. I am a federal employee with a TSP (Traditional). In addition, I currently own a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA, while my wife owns a Roth IRA. This year, it looks like our combined income (MAGI) will likely exceed the threshold for the standard approach to contribute to our Roth IRAs. I have seen strategies to use the backdoor approach, but it will require smartly transferring my traditional IRA to TSP to avoid a large conversion taxes. My traditional IRA has a nondeductible basis of $12,000 and $78,000 of earnings. As I understand from research, I could transfer the $78,000…

Q. The beneficiaries of my TSP account are nonspousal relatives. What are their options upon my death? Have the recently enacted changes to TSP withdrawals affected any options? I was told by a TSP telephone representative that they could establish TSP beneficiary accounts, which would allow a monthly payment plan that would provide them benefits until their TSP accounts were depleted. However, I thought I had read somewhere that withdrawals of nonspousal relatives had to be completed within five years, but maybe that applies to IRAs.   

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