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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q.  If I retire under disability, can I collect my TSP if I am younger than age 59 1/2 without penalty?
A.  Yes, anyone who has been approved by the Office of Personnel Management for disability retirement has access to their TSP account without penalty, no matter their age.

Q.  When is the best day to retire?
A.  Annuities commence the first day of the month after leaving federal service.  However, CSRS ONLY, retiring within the first three days of any month, the annuity will commence the next day.  Exceptions:  Discontinued Service retirements and Disability retirements commence the day after leaving federal service or after pay stops and title to the annuity has been met.

Q.  Do I have to elect a survivor benefit for my spouse?
A. Any retiring employee who is married at the time of retirement, must elect a full survivor benefit for their spouse unless the spouse elects a partial annuity or no annuity at all.
 
Q.  Can I keep my health insurance after I retire?
A.  Individuals retiring can retain health insurance as long as they had health insurance coverage the five years prior to retiring or have had health insurance as of the first date eligible for coverage, if less than five years.
 
Q.  If I retire under CSRS, can I also collect Social Security on my own work record?
A.  Anyone who has sufficient credits of coverage for a Social Security benefit will be legible to collect it in addition to their CSRS retirement.

Q.  I am going through a divorce.  What can happen to my TSP and CSRS/FERS?
A.  When going through a divorce, the marital laws of your state, combined with terms that may be negotiated between the parties, determines what portion of your retirement benefit is payable to your former spouse.  It is also possible to estimate the value of the former spouse's share of the employees annuity and offer to buy out the former spouse's interest in your CSRS/FERS annuity.  For more information about how your CSRS/FERS and TSP benefits can be affected by divorce, you may contact my colleague, Dan Jamison, at dan@fersguide.com or at www.fersguide.com 
 

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