Penalty for Withdrawing From TSP

By on March 24, 2015 in Q&A, Retirement with 11 Comments

Q: I am age 64 and retired from GSA in 2008 under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), having worked 36+ years. Is there a penalty for me to withdraw some or all of my TSP before age 70 1/2 ? I am widowed and get no Social Security from my deceased husband’s Social Security and I sure could use some of it now.

A: You will not be penalized for taking money from your TSP at your age. The penalties are for those who separate and withdraw money before they turn the age of 55 (10%) and for those who fail to take a required minimum distribution after 70 1/2 (50%). Someone your age will not face any penalty when withdrawing.

The TSP withdrawal rules are rather restrictive and you should review their publication, Withdrawing Your TSP Account When Leaving Federal Service.

John Grobe’s latest book, The Answer Book on Your Federal Employee Benefits, has just been released by LRP Publications. The book is written in an easy to understand question and answer format and covers all areas of federal benefits from the perspective of an employee at various stages of their career. Order your copy at

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About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a consulting firm that specializes in federal retirement and career transition issues. He is also affiliated with TSP Safety Net. John retired from federal service after 25 years of progressively more responsible human resources positions. He is the author of Understanding the Federal Retirement Systems and Career Transition: A Guide for Federal Employees, both published by the Federal Management Institute. Federal Career Experts provides pre-retirement seminars for a wide variety of federal agencies.