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Federal Employees Benefits Q &A

Do you have questions about your federal employee CSRS or FERS pension/annuity or federal employee retirement planning? Concerns about your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account or what about federal employee pay and leave issues?

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The Q&A forum is moderated by Ed Zurndorfer -- an expert on federal employee benefits -- and a Certified Financial Planner, chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant in Maryland.

Zurndorfer is also the author of several federal employee benefits guides published by Federal Employees News Digest.

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Please do not submit employee benefits questions to the webmaster or the forum moderator.

Note: FederalSoup.com has attempted to compile information that is as accurate and current as possible for federal employees. Federal policies, laws, regulations, statistics and addresses continually change. Therefore, no warranties are made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this column. If additional clarification or information is needed, it is suggested that competent and professional assistance be sought. Mr. Zurndorfer does not moderate other forums on FederalSoup and will not reply to general FederalSoup inquiries submitted in this Q&A forum.

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richdor  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:23:07 AM(UTC)

Rank: Groupie

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Joined: 10/28/2006(UTC)
Posts: 53

Dear Mr. Zurndorfer---I have not been on this site for quite a while and left my inquiry on the wrong link on the Federal Soup forum. I do hope you can clear up my confusion. I retired in 2009 and recently turned age 70 in November of this year. I am retired under Fers system and made a full withdrawal election about 18 months ago and presently receive $125.00 per month as a small supplement to my income. I know it's not enough to satisfy the RMD amount at present. With all the changes coming to us TSP participants signed into law by the Presdident recently , I am unsure as to when to start drawing out the proper amount of monies. I did speak to someone at the TSP office the other day. They told me If I didnt take enough out to satisfy the IRS requirements, they do this automatically and send you a check . Do I start taking my RMD's in May of 2019 when I turn 70 1/2? Am I to fill out a TSP form -73 for the election? How does the new Modernization Act affect me or my choices? Can I start taking out my RMD's without penalty at a later time? Please help me clear my confusion and I thank you for your assistance regarding this issue.
Ed Zurndorfer  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, December 11, 2018 9:17:22 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/10/2001(UTC)
Posts: 5,596

Was thanked: 145 time(s) in 134 post(s)
Since you are becoming age 70.5 in May 2019, you do not have to make your first TSP RMD until April 1, 2020. Sometime during 2019 you should ask your financial advisor to compute your first RMD based on your TSP account balance as of 12/31/2018 and your age of age 71 during 2019. In January 2020, the TSP will send you a notice telling you what your 2020 RMD will be. You can then submit Form TSP 70 asking the TSP to send a series of monthly payments that in total will equal your 2020 TSP RMD.
richdor  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, December 11, 2018 9:50:56 AM(UTC)

Rank: Groupie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 10/28/2006(UTC)
Posts: 53

Dear Mr. Zurndofer:
No sooner than I got off the phone with another customer rep from the TSP, I saw you had replied to me. She distinctly told me that I had to take the RMD's at May 2019 and had to fill out a new TSP form #70 in which I would request that the TSP would base my withdrawals on life expe ntancy. I already know at this present day and time how much I should satisfy to avoid penalty. I also mentioned to her that I had been told by another CPA that I didn't have to take out monies until April 2020. That was my original intent to clarify the year of 2019 or 2020. Now , with the new date of 2020, my RMD amount would change depending on market fluctuations as I still keep some monies invested in stocks. I think the TSP people are possibly misinformed on actual dates to start withdrawing RMD's. Maybe now you and others understand why my confusion was so persistent on the issues. Thank you so much for the prompt reply to the matter. Have a great holiday.
Ed Zurndorfer  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, December 11, 2018 10:10:25 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/10/2001(UTC)
Posts: 5,596

Was thanked: 145 time(s) in 134 post(s)
You are most welcome.
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