Utilizing the TSP After Transitioning to Private Sector

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By on June 23, 2015 in Q&A, Retirement with 0 Comments

Q: I’m a 24 year veteran of the Postal Service, age 58. I am considering resigning later this year, but want to postpone receiving my annuity till age 60 (approx. 17 months) thus (according to an HR rep) avoiding the 5% reduction per year as I would have reached the 60/20 retirement plateau. I realize I would not be eligible for the “special supplement” but my wish is to work in the private sector and delay receiving Social Security till mid 60’s. Finances are in order to do this.

In a postponed annuity, would I be eligible to resume FEHB from my previous Postal plans? (as the COBRA plan is too expensive an option, especially with Affordable Health Care plans available).

Can I leave the TSP funds in the account? And if so, can I make deposits and withdrawals to it after age 60, or are the rules different in a postponed annuity situation?

A: Yes. Since you have reached your MRA and had ten years of service you can postpone your annuity until age 60 and then also resume your FEHB health plan at that time.

Yes, you can leave your money in your TSP. You will have penalty free access to your funds since you separated from service after the year you turned 55. So you can make withdrawals even before the age of 60. You will not be able to make contributions at age 60. You have to be a Federal Employee and make payroll deductions to be eligible to contribute to the TSP. If you have earned wages at another job, you can make contributions to an IRA though. The TSP rules are not different because you postponed your FERS Annuity.

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About the Author

Jesse Black is a financial advisor who specializes in assisting Federal Employees maximize their benefits. He is a Chartered Federal Employees Benefits Consultant and has over ten years industry experience. He has assisted thousands of people, assisted with benefit workshops and has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about Federal Benefits.