Ask The Experts: Money Matters

By Mike Miles

Retirement withdrawal

Bookmark and Share

Q. I retired April 1st this year at age 72. When do I have to start taking money out of my 401k and what percentage would it be?

A. I don’t answer questions about 401k accounts in this forum, but I will answer the question as though it was posed about the TSP. Your first RMD is due by April 1, 2015. I can’t calculate the amount of the RMD from the information you’ve provided, but you can do it using the instructions contained in IRS Publication 590 or using an online calculator from a trustworthy source.

Tags:

TSP transfer

Bookmark and Share

Q. I retired over a year ago and just started working again. Can I transfer my TSP account to my new company’s retirement savings plan without a penalty? I’m 54 and plan to work until age 65.

A. Yes, but it might be a bad idea. You’ll probably be better off keeping your TSP account and transferring your private-sector plan balance into it after you retire.

Tags: ,

Partial withdrawal

Bookmark and Share

Q. I want to make a one-time partial withdrawal from my TSP account. I realize this withdrawal is subject to the Virginia state and federal income taxes. Who should I contact to learn how much taxes, both federal and state, I have to pay?

A. The withholding requirements are listed in the table on Page 3 of the notice at https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tsp-536.pdf. You won’t know how much tax you’ll actually owe until you file your tax returns for the year, however.

Tags:

Early withdrawal penalty

Bookmark and Share

Q. I am a retired law enforcement officer with 25 years of service. I retired from the Bureau of Prisons in December 2009 at age 48. I am receiving my pension and the supplemental annuity. I have $300,000 in my TSP account and want to start withdrawing it. What are my options to begin receiving money from the TSP without buying an annuity and not having to pay the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty? Can I take a one-time distribution of say $100,000 without penalty? Can I withdraw the whole amount without penalty? Can I take $2,400 per month out which will last for at least 10 years or do I have to use the IRS life expectancy formula? Am I exempt from this penalty as a qualified public safety employee or special category employee? Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,

Withdrawal plan

Bookmark and Share

Q. I am a 57-year-old FERS employee with over 38 years of federal service (including seven years of military service which I bought back). I have approximately $470,000 in my TSP account and plan to retire in January 2015. Can I take an immediate one-time-only partial withdrawal when I retire and elect to receive a specific dollar amount of monthly distributions immediately thereafter and, in a few years, halt the monthly distributions and roll over my remaining TSP balance to an outside IRA?

A. Yes

Tags: ,

Lump sum and monthly benefit

Bookmark and Share

Q. I want a lump sum for a certain amount and monthly withdrawals (not full withdrawal) for 25 years. Can I do both in the same year?

A. The TSP considers monthly payments to be a form of full withdrawal.

Tags:

Taxation on TSP

Bookmark and Share

Q. How much is the TSP taxed upon retirement if pulled out all at once, and how does that affect you’re end-of-year taxes at the end of that year?

A. Your withdrawal will be subject to a 20 percent mandatory federal tax withholding and the amount of your withdrawal will be added to your tax return for the year as ordinary income. The withholding is considered a deposit against your federal tax liability for the year.

Tags:

TSP to IRA

Bookmark and Share

Q. Can I take my money out of the TSP and pay the penalty? Is there any way to get all my money out without having to retire or quit? If so, can I then move it into another self-directed IRA?

A. The only ways to remove money from your TSP account before reaching age 59-1/2 while you are still a federal employee are: a loan and/or an in-service financial-hardship withdrawal. Neither of these may be rolled into an IRA account.

Tags: , ,

TSP early withdrawal

Bookmark and Share

Q. I am interested in buying a franchise. I am 61 and plan to retire in 2014. Can I withdraw my money without it being taxed for this type of investment?

A. No.

Tags:

FERS account taxes

Bookmark and Share

Q. I will retire in two years. If I leave my money in the TSP, what happens when I reach 70-1/2 and I  am forced to pay a certain percentage of my savings out every year due to my age. Does that mean I would have to pull all my TSP money out (pay taxes on it) to transfer it to another account in anticipation of the yearly deduction?

A. If you begin monthly distributions using form TSP-70 during or before the year you reach age 70-1/2, the TSP will automatically distribute the required amount each year. There is no need to leave the TSP while you are still alive.

Tags: ,