Bulletin 19-6
September 15, 2019

New Options and Processes for Withdrawal Requests for Separated and Beneficiary Participants

The purpose of this bulletin is to notify agencies/services that the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) has implemented new withdrawal options and processes for separated and beneficiary participants as a result of the TSP Modernization Act of 2017. These changes take effect on September 15, 2019.

This bulletin supersedes TSP Bulletins 12-16 and 12-U-14, Consolidation of Post-Separation Withdrawal Forms: TSP-70, Request for Full Withdrawal (Civilian) and TSP-U-70 (Uniformed Services); Forms TSP-77, Request for Partial Withdrawal When Separated (Civilian), and TSP-U-77 (Uniformed Services); and changes to TSP Post-Separation Withdrawal processing to include Roth TSP, dated May 7, 2012.

Any copies of Form TSP-70/TSP-U-70, Request for Full Withdrawal, Form TSP-77/TSP-U-77, Request for Partial Withdrawal When Separated, Form TSP-79, Change From Monthly Payments to Final Payment, and Form TSP-90, Withdrawal Request for Beneficiary Participants, with a date prior to September 2019 are obsolete and will no longer be processed. Those obsolete forms should be immediately discarded (recycled), and agencies/services that provide links to electronic versions of those forms should disable those links.

Requirements for Withdrawal Requests for Separated and Beneficiary Participants

Separated civilian and uniformed services participants and beneficiary participants are able to take a partial or total account withdrawal from their TSP accounts.

Partial withdrawal options include: installment payments, single partial withdrawals, annuity purchases with part of the account, or any combination of the three.

Total account withdrawal options include: a total account withdrawal in a single payment, an annuity purchase with the total account balance, or an annuity purchase with part of the account with the remaining balance paid out to the participant as a single payment.

A separated participant should not submit a post-separation withdrawal request if either of the following is true:

  • The participant expects to be rehired after a break in service of less than 31 calendar days. (A participant must be separated from federal service for 31 or more days in order to be eligible for a post-separation withdrawal.)
  • The participant’s vested account balance is less than $200. The TSP will automatically send the participant a check for the balance of the account after the participant’s agency/service reports that the participant has separated. Therefore, the agency/service must ensure the participant’s address is correct and up to date.

Changes to Post-Separation/Beneficiary Participant Withdrawals

The FRTIB has made the following changes related to post-separation/beneficiary participant withdrawals:

  • Participants can now receive installment payments monthly, quarterly, or annually, and can stop or change these payments at any time.
  • Participants can take multiple partial withdrawals (even while receiving installment payments) as long as there are at least 30 calendar days between each request.
  • Having taken an age-based in-service withdrawal will not prevent participants from taking post-separation partial withdrawals.
  • Participants are able to choose whether their payments come from their Roth balance only, their traditional balance only, or pro rata from both.
  • Participants are no longer required to make a full withdrawal election once they’ve turned 70½ and have separated from federal service. However, they still have to receive IRS required minimum distributions (RMDs). If a participant has not received sufficient payments to satisfy the RMD, the TSP will automatically send the needed amount to that participant as long as his or her mailing address is up to date.

Requesting a Post-Separation/Beneficiary Participant Withdrawal

Participants should use the online tool on the TSP website (tsp.gov) to initiate a partial or total account withdrawal request. To access the tool, participants must log into My Account and click on “Withdrawals and Changes to Installment Payments,” then click on “Withdrawal Request for Separated and Beneficiary Participants.” This online tool will guide the participant through the request by prompting the participant to answer questions. Based on those answers, the online tool will generate Form TSP-99 (WEB), Withdrawal Request for Separated and Beneficiary Participants, which is a summary of the request with the participant’s provided information. Depending on the circumstances, the request may be completed entirely online. If signatures or additional information is required, the participant will need to print the form, gather the necessary signatures, have the form notarized, and then send it to the TSP. Note: The pages included in Form TSP-99 (WEB) will be variable, depending on what the TSP requires in a given case. If a participant alters any of the pre-printed information on the TSP-99 (WEB) form, the form will not be processed.

Additional Information for Participants

The TSP booklet Withdrawing From Your TSP Account for Separated and Beneficiary Participants provides information about the TSP withdrawal options and how they affect participants’ accounts. Agency/Service representatives should strongly recommend that participants read this booklet and the TSP tax notice Important Tax Information About Payments From Your TSP Account before requesting a withdrawal.

Tee Ramos
Director, Office of Participant Services