Ask The Experts: Money Matters

By Mike Miles

Loans at retirement

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Q. I plan on retiring in August with 31 years FERS service at MRA. I have an outstanding loan of $15,000. I know they will report it as income earned. Will I have to pay a penalty since I will only be 56 on the balance I owe? Read the rest of this entry »

FERS disability process/TSP withdrawal

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Q. I am 64 and have 4.5 years in FERS. I want to know when i can fully withdraw my TSP? I have asked the base. I have called BEST and I have called OPM. I was told DFAS submits a code in an internal software system. So does that happen six months down the road when my disability retirement is approved? Read the rest of this entry »

TSP withdrawal

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Q. I am an Air Reserve Technician and 53 years old. I have lost my military requirement at no fault of my own, and now I am being made to retire from the civilian side (FERS). I have a total of 20 years. Can I withdraw all of my TSP from the civilian TSP and if so, what is the early withdrawal penalty and taxes associated with doing so? I am looking at paying off 50 percent of my debt. My TSP is around 75,000.

A. Since you are separating from TSP covered service before the calendar year in which you reach age 55, you will be subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty unless you meet one of the other exceptions listed on Page 7 of the notice posted at


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FERS retirement

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Q. I have two years of temporary services. What are the pros and cons of buying back the temp time? I am approaching my 27th year of federal service. I came in under FERS; at what age can I retire and get my TSP monies without being penalized?

A. You may avoid the early withdrawal penalty on TSP distributions at any age if you meet one of the exemptions listed on page 7 of the notice at One of these exemptions is for those who retire during or after the calendar year in which they reach age 55.

401(k) rollover

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Q. I am eligible to buy 12 years of military service credit for my civil service retirement. I am curious if I can take a 401(k) from a previous job and roll it over into the FERS system without a tax penalty. Can you help me with this?

A. You may not.