Ask The Experts: Money Matters

By Mike Miles

Multiple annuities in retirement

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Q. I am 41 and a “gray area retiree from the Maryland Army National Guard. I am employed with the Postal Service (FERS) and have about 19 years of service (including five years active duty, which I already paid back). I also collect 30 percent disability from the Veterans Affairs Department. In planning my final retirement living, it seems if I retire at my minimum retirement age of 57, I should be immediately eligible for full annuities of the following, with no penalties or offsets:

FERS basic annuity

Social Security offset (until 62)

TSP annuity (no IRS penalty)

VA compensation

Army retired pay (age 60)

Reduced Social Security (age 62)

Are my assumptions correct?

A. Mike: If you retire during or after the calendar year in which you reach age 55, you will have access to your Thrift Savings Plan account without penalty. If you use the balance to purchase a life annuity, there will be no penalty for this regardless of when you retire.

Reg: Assuming that you retire at age 57 with more than 30 years of combined service, you would be entitled to an unreduced FERS annuity and the special retirement supplement. (There is no such thing as a Social Security offset.) You would also be entitled to your reserve retired pay, VA disability compensation, and a reduced Social Security benefit.

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