Making a withdrawal
Requesting a withdrawal
Before you request a withdrawal from your TSP savings, be sure to read the booklet Withdrawing Your TSP Account After Leaving Federal Service.
To request a withdrawal, log into My Account and click on the “Withdrawals and Changes to Installment Payments” link on the menu. From there you’ll have access to an online tool with which to start your withdrawal.
Depending on your circumstances and the type of withdrawal you request, you may be able to complete your transaction entirely online. If your signature or your spouse’s signature is required, you’re purchasing an annuity, or you’re transferring any part of your withdrawal, you’ll see a prompt to print a summary of your request with requirements for notarized signatures or information from your financial institution. You may then submit the completed summary by upload through My Account or by mailing or faxing it to us according to the form instructions.
We cannot process your withdrawal request unless your agency or service notifies us that you’ve separated from service and provides the date of your separation. It usually takes up to 30 days after the actual date of your separation for us to receive this information.
Transferring or rolling over your withdrawal
After you leave federal service, you may be able to transfer or roll over all or part of your partitial or full withdrawal amount to an IRA or eligible employer plan.
The tax rules regarding transfers and rollovers can be complicated. You should consult a tax advisor to ensure that you understand the tax consequences of such a transaction. For detailed information about transferring or rolling over your withdrawal, read the tax notice Important Tax Information About Payments From Your TSP Account.
Depositing your withdrawal electronically
Any single payment or monthly payment that is not transferred directly to an IRA or eligible employer plan can be deposited electronically in your savings or checking account. Simply provide the necessary information in your withdrawal request.
Receiving your money
Allow several weeks from the time you submit your completed withdrawal request and the time that payment is sent. Your withdrawal could take longer if your agency or service delays reporting your separation from federal service, if you have an outstanding TSP loan, or if you submit forms that are not completed properly. We will notify you in writing when your payment has been sent. You can go to My Account: Withdrawals or call the ThriftLine to find out the status of your request.
Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)
The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) requires that you receive a portion of your TSP account beginning in the calendar year when you become age 72* and are separated from service. The portion is called a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).
We calculate RMDs based on your account balance and your age using the IRS Uniform Lifetime Table. For detailed information and the tax rules regarding RMDs, see the TSP tax notice Important Tax Information About Your TSP Withdrawal and Required Minimum Distributions.
If you have left federal service and do not begin withdrawing from your TSP account balance in the year you turn 72*, we are required to make the required distribution to you by April 1 of the following year.
If you separate from federal service after age 72*, your account will immediately be subject to the IRS minimum distribution requirements.
If you’re already receiving a series of monthly payments from your TSP account when you turn 72*, your monthly payments will be used to satisfy the IRS minimum distributions requirement. If the total amount of your monthly payments does not satisfy the requirement, we will issue a supplemental payment for the remaining amount in December.
If you’re a beneficiary participant, your deadline for beginning to receive required minimum distributions depends on whether your spouse died before or after his or her required beginning date.
* Participants who turned 70½ on or before December 31, 2019, were required to begin receiving RMDs in the year they turned 70½.
RMD payment transfers
You cannot transfer or roll over your RMD into another IRA or eligible employer plan. If you withdraw your entire account in a single payment or monthly payments in a year during which the RMD applies, you cannot transfer the entire payment(s) to an IRA or eligible employer plan. Instead, before transferring any money, we will calculate your RMD amount and mail it directly to you (or to the savings or checking account designated to receive your direct deposit).
We must honor a valid court order that:
- Awards all or part of a TSP account to a current or former spouse (including a separated spouse), and/or
- Enforces obligations to pay child support or alimony or to satisfy judgments for child abuse.
- We must also honor qualifying federal tax levies and restitution orders pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA).
With the exception of a required minimum distribution (RMD), your withdrawal request will not be accepted until any court order that applies to your TSP account is settled.
Having two account types
If you have both a civilian account and a uniformed services account, you may only make a partial or full withdrawal from the TSP account related to the type of employment from which you are separating.
Once you’ve separated, you will have the option of combining your two accounts into one; however, you can only combine the account related to your separation into your other TSP account. Also, if you have a loan in the account you are moving, you must close it before you can combine your accounts.
To combine your TSP accounts, use Request to Combine Uniformed Services and Civilian TSP Accounts, Form TSP-65. Money that you transfer will be deposited as employee contributions into the traditional or Roth balance of the combined account based on the way it was identified in the original account.
Note: If you have a uniformed services account that includes a tax-exempt balance, that money cannot be transferred to your civilian TSP account unless the tax-exempt contributions are part of your Roth balance. Any tax-exempt contributions that are a part of your traditional balance must remain in your uniformed services account. That account will continue to accrue tax-deferred earnings until you withdraw it.