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TSP RMD's

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:35 pm
by JerryB
Will the TSP notify me of my RMD options when I reach age 70? Are there options for monthly, quarterly, and annual payments? tia

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:20 pm
by HueyLD
You can find the answers in this doc.

https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tspfs10.pdf

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:03 pm
by JerryB
Apparently monthly payments is the only option for RMD's.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:07 pm
by HueyLD
Did you read the link provided?

There are major changes coming in September 2019.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:35 pm
by JerryB
HueyLD wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:07 pm
Did you read the link provided?

There are major changes coming in September 2019.
Duh, I missed that. Thanks!!!

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:26 pm
by Alan S.
Here is a bullet point from the TSP Bulletin:

• You’ll be able to choose whether your withdrawal should come from your Roth balance, your traditional balance, or a proportional mix of both.

This still is not totally flexible because of the qualifier "proportional". A non proportional mix would not be allowed if you are withdrawing from more than one of the accounts.

Note that IRS rules for qualified plans allows RMDs to be aggregated in any combination between the traditional and Roth sub accounts, and that allows you to control the rate of drawdown for each account. But RMDs appear to fall under the general bullet point copied above. The TSP or other qualified plan is not forced to adopt the IRS flexibility for RMD distributions. The applicable IRS Reg is 1.401(a)(9)-8, Q&A 2 as follows:
(a)Defined contribution plan.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this A-2, if an employee's benefit under a defined contribution plan is divided into separate accounts under the plan, the separate accounts will be aggregated for purposes of satisfying the rules in section 401(a)(9). Thus, except as otherwise provided in this A-2, all separate accounts, including a separate account for employee contributions under section 72(d)(2), will be aggregated for purposes of section 401(a)(9).
Either way, the presence of a Roth TSP results in an RMD on that amount regardless of which account the RMD comes from. Therefore, a retiree should still roll the Roth TSP to a Roth IRA prior to age 70.5 to avoid any RMDs based on the Roth TSP balance.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:01 am
by JerryB
As long as we are on the subject, if I don't need the RMD to live on, I am thinking of taking an annual payment early in the year to get the money into a taxable account that will invested in tax efficient index funds. Thoughts?

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:23 am
by rkhusky
JerryB wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:01 am
As long as we are on the subject, if I don't need the RMD to live on, I am thinking of taking an annual payment early in the year to get the money into a taxable account that will invested in tax efficient index funds. Thoughts?
Since tax deferred is better than taxable, it is generally better to take the RMD towards the end of the year.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:42 am
by JerryB
rkhusky wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:23 am
JerryB wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:01 am
As long as we are on the subject, if I don't need the RMD to live on, I am thinking of taking an annual payment early in the year to get the money into a taxable account that will invested in tax efficient index funds. Thoughts?
Since tax deferred is better than taxable, it is generally better to take the RMD towards the end of the year.
It was deferred for the last 40 years, but now it is taxable since withdrawals are required and are taxed at my marginal rate. In my taxable account, I may never pay a capital gains tax and my heirs get a stepped up basis.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:50 am
by rkhusky
If taxable is better, I suppose then you should not stop at the RMD, but withdraw up to the top of your tax bracket or maybe higher.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:16 am
by Ybsybs
rkhusky wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:50 am
If taxable is better, I suppose then you should not stop at the RMD, but withdraw up to the top of your tax bracket or maybe higher.
Potentially. Whether or not that would help minimize your lifetime total taxes would depend on if you are in a lower than future tax bracket for that particular year. For some people, such periods can exist: between retiring from a dayjob and before collecting social security, during years of high medical expenses, and maybe at end of life for one member of a married filing jointly couple before becoming a bereaved single filer. The time between retiring and collecting social security is the time when tax management is more likely to happen because the relative importance of tax management when severely ill or caring for a severely ill spouse tends to be low on the to do lists for most.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:59 am
by House Blend
rkhusky wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:50 am
If taxable is better, I suppose then you should not stop at the RMD, but withdraw up to the top of your tax bracket or maybe higher.
No. Better to Roth convert any amounts beyond the RMD than simply withdraw them.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:02 am
by JerryB
Will TSP allow you round up your monthly, quarterly, or annual payment?

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:54 pm
by HueyLD
JerryB wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:02 am
Will TSP allow you round up your monthly, quarterly, or annual payment?
As you already know, the withdrawal options will change substantially in September, 2019.

As of today, you can specify a certain amount to be withdrawn monthly and this amount can be a round number of your choosing.

https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tsp-70.pdf

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:09 pm
by VACat07
So I’ve read the new TSP withdrawal guidelines. Does “withdrawal” mean the same as rolling over the ROTH TSP to my individual ROTH IRA? As I understand it now (before the changes are implemented), if I want to combine my ROTH accounts, I have to transfer my ROTH and regular TSP out (keeping a minimum of about $1 k in the TSP), and then transfer the traditional IRA back into the TSP. Under the new rules, I assume I can just transfer the ROTH TSP directly to my ROTH IRA and not touch the traditional TSP. Or does “withdrawal” mean actually taking a distribution not rolling over?

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:10 pm
by trueblueky
JerryB wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:35 pm
Will the TSP notify me of my RMD options when I reach age 70? Are there options for monthly, quarterly, and annual payments? tia
If you take monthly payments and those are not enough to meet the calculated RMD, TSP will send the rest once a year.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:57 pm
by 4nwestsaylng
Re: the requirement that you take out your first RMD before age 70 1/2, does that mean you have to withdraw the entire amount of the RMD by that date, or can you start monthly payments through the remainder of that tax year that total the amount of RMD? I am thinking you have to withdraw the total amount before age 70 1/2, whether as a lump sum or a few monthly payments that six months prior, but that it all has to be out by 70 1/2?

I also will do Roth conversion up to the limit of that tax bracket, or the limit of the IRMAA bracket. I don't like paying the tax on the conversion, but rates will likely not be lower after current rates sunset in 2025.The only question I have in that regard is, paying tax now on the conversion prevents that amount from continuing to earn tax deferred. Even if rates are higher in the future, I wonder whether the return from tax deferred earnings over that period more than compensates for any risk of higher rates after 2025.

Any thoughts on these two issues?

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:07 pm
by trueblueky
4nwestsaylng wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:57 pm
Re: the requirement that you take out your first RMD before age 70 1/2, does that mean you have to withdraw the entire amount of the RMD by that date, or can you start monthly payments through the remainder of that tax year that total the amount of RMD? I am thinking you have to withdraw the total amount before age 70 1/2, whether as a lump sum or a few monthly payments that six months prior, but that it all has to be out by 70 1/2?

I also will do Roth conversion up to the limit of that tax bracket, or the limit of the IRMAA bracket. I don't like paying the tax on the conversion, but rates will likely not be lower after current rates sunset in 2025.The only question I have in that regard is, paying tax now on the conversion prevents that amount from continuing to earn tax deferred. Even if rates are higher in the future, I wonder whether the return from tax deferred earnings over that period more than compensates for any risk of higher rates after 2025.

Any thoughts on these two issues?
You must begin RMD in the year you turn 70 1/2. If your 70th birthday is April 1, 2017, you turn 70 1/2 that year and must begin RMD. The first year, you can delay taking the RMD until April 2018, but that means taking two distributions in 2018 -- the one for 2017 and the one for 2018.

As long as you withdraw it in time, it does not matter whether the withdrawal is a lump sum or monthly.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:39 pm
by JerryB
The changes say you can switch to a dollar amount rather than life expectancy, but you never go back to life expectancy. Does this mean I can still change the dollar amount each year as my RMD changes?

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:05 pm
by Alan S.
JerryB wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:39 pm
The changes say you can switch to a dollar amount rather than life expectancy, but you never go back to life expectancy. Does this mean I can still change the dollar amount each year as my RMD changes?
After Sept, 2019 you can make mostly all the changes you could make in an IRA account. Flexibility is vastly increased in the TSP. Whatever arrangement you started 2019 with, you could make whatever changes you wish after Sept. Although it does not appear you will be 70.5 in 2019 and therefore RMDs will start later, you have even more flexibility in 2019 since you can ignore RMD requirements.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:52 am
by Stoic9
The way I understand TSP is that it is not an IRA. So to convert I have to roll my TSP into my tIRA at another firm, then roll it into my ROTH. My question is timing. If I have TSP send (rollover) money to tIRA firm then have firm roll into the ROTH it is at the moment it leaves the tIRA that tax is due from other monies. Do I send a check to IRS at that time or can I wait and send when I complete my taxes in APR of the following year?

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:16 pm
by grabiner
Stoic9 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:52 am
The way I understand TSP is that it is not an IRA. So to convert I have to roll my TSP into my tIRA at another firm, then roll it into my ROTH. My question is timing. If I have TSP send (rollover) money to tIRA firm then have firm roll into the ROTH it is at the moment it leaves the tIRA that tax is due from other monies. Do I send a check to IRS at that time or can I wait and send when I complete my taxes in APR of the following year?
You have to have the tax paid somehow. You can ask your broker to withhold from the conversion, so that you withdraw $10K from the traditional IRA, pay $2K as tax, and contribute the other $8K to the Roth. You can have it withheld from other income you earn that year, by filing a new W-4. You can pay it as estimated tax.

If you don't do any of these three things, you may owe a penalty when you pay taxes in the following April; the penalty is interest from the date you should have made the estimated tax payment to the date you paid the tax.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:08 pm
by JerryB
I also read somewhere that an advantage to an end of year RMD is that you are also delaying your tax withholding and are not giving the government a free loan, and you won't be penalized for not making the quarterly estimated tax payments. Does this make sense?

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:52 pm
by grabiner
JerryB wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:08 pm
I also read somewhere that an advantage to an end of year RMD is that you are also delaying your tax withholding and are not giving the government a free loan, and you won't be penalized for not making the quarterly estimated tax payments. Does this make sense?
Yes, this is correct. If your tax last year was $10,000, then you are safe withholding $10,000 this year. You can take a distribution in December and ask for $10,000 to be withheld (or $8000 if you happen to have had $2000 of mandatory withholding on some other income), meeting the IRS requirements while the $10,000 had an opportunity to earn interest all year.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sat May 11, 2019 8:20 am
by JerryB
grabiner wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:52 pm
JerryB wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:08 pm
I also read somewhere that an advantage to an end of year RMD is that you are also delaying your tax withholding and are not giving the government a free loan, and you won't be penalized for not making the quarterly estimated tax payments. Does this make sense?
Yes, this is correct. If your tax last year was $10,000, then you are safe withholding $10,000 this year. You can take a distribution in December and ask for $10,000 to be withheld (or $8000 if you happen to have had $2000 of mandatory withholding on some other income), meeting the IRS requirements while the $10,000 had an opportunity to earn interest all year.
Thanks. Is the withheld amount elected at the beginning of the year, or can I change the withheld amount during the year?

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sat May 11, 2019 8:27 am
by stan1
A brokerage Traditional IRA allows qualified charitable distributions for the RMD. I'm slowly getting to the point where the G Fund is the only tangible benefit the TSP gives me over a Traditional IRA at Vanguard and I think the odds are high I'll pull everything out of the TSP shortly before I have to start RMDs.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sat May 11, 2019 1:47 pm
by grabiner
JerryB wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:20 am
grabiner wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:52 pm
JerryB wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:08 pm
I also read somewhere that an advantage to an end of year RMD is that you are also delaying your tax withholding and are not giving the government a free loan, and you won't be penalized for not making the quarterly estimated tax payments. Does this make sense?
Yes, this is correct. If your tax last year was $10,000, then you are safe withholding $10,000 this year. You can take a distribution in December and ask for $10,000 to be withheld (or $8000 if you happen to have had $2000 of mandatory withholding on some other income), meeting the IRS requirements while the $10,000 had an opportunity to earn interest all year.
Thanks. Is the withheld amount elected at the beginning of the year, or can I change the withheld amount during the year?
If the money is withheld, the IRS only cares about the total during the year. A common strategy for investors is to take a distribution from an IRA at the end of the year, and request the exact amount needed to be withheld as tax.

If you pay estimated tax instead, the IRS requires that 1/4 of the amount be paid each quarter (or that they cover the quarter's share of tax if you are using 90% of this year's tax as your safe harbor).

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sat May 11, 2019 2:06 pm
by Spirit Rider
Stoic9 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:52 am
The way I understand TSP is that it is not an IRA. So to convert I have to roll my TSP into my tIRA at another firm, then roll it into my ROTH.
You misunderstand.

The TSP is a 401k plan, but that does not prevent you from doing a direct rollover from either the tradtional 401k account or the designated Roth 401k account to a Roth IRA. A rollover from the former is a taxable event, just like a Roth conversion from a traditional IRA to Roth IRA

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sun May 12, 2019 12:03 pm
by Alan S.
The TSP Modernization Act provides flexibility upgrades for TSP participants.

However, it does nothing for non spouse beneficiaries. The TSP "beneficiary participant account" will continue to apply only to spouse beneficiaries, so I don't know they don't call it the "spousal beneficiary participant account". Therefore, if you are single your non spouse beneficiary will not qualify to remain in the TSP as a beneficiary. Your non spouse beneficiary has two choices:

1) Lump sum distribution, all taxable in a single year with loss of future tax deferral.
2) Direct rollover to an inherited TIRA or inherited Roth IRA. This is the obvious choice for most beneficiaries as it will avoid the pitfalls of 1) above. However, if your beneficiary ignores correspondence from the TSP or lets a TSP imposed deadline pass, the beneficiary will receive a check in the mail, and there is no option for rollover.

Therefore, if you are a participant with a non spouse beneficiary, you may want to do an IRA rollover at some point to avoid this risk to your non spouse beneficiary.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sun May 12, 2019 12:48 pm
by trueblueky
Spirit Rider wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 2:06 pm
Stoic9 wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:52 am
The way I understand TSP is that it is not an IRA. So to convert I have to roll my TSP into my tIRA at another firm, then roll it into my ROTH.
You misunderstand.

The TSP is a 401k plan, but that does not prevent you from doing a direct rollover from either the tradtional 401k account or the designated Roth 401k account to a Roth IRA. A rollover from the former is a taxable event, just like a Roth conversion from a traditional IRA to Roth IRA
Agree. Current TSP rules make it simpler to move your one-time lump sum to a tIRA, then convert to Roth IRA. I moved enough from TSP to tIRA to make several years of conversions, so only one action with TSP. Converting tIRA to Roth is easy to do on line, and I can move the funds/ETF directly.

If I did conversion from TSP to Roth IRA several years, it would be harder. The funds from TSP would be cash; then I would need to buy ETF/mutual funds.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sun May 12, 2019 3:31 pm
by Spirit Rider
Starting 9/15, the TSP will allow unlimited partial withdrawals/rollovers. That means you can multiple direct traditional TSP -> Roth IRA rollovers in any size and frequency you want. Any rollovers from any qualified plan to any other plan/account must be in cash. I don't understand why you think one is more difficult than the other.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Sun May 12, 2019 7:13 pm
by trueblueky
Spirit Rider wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 3:31 pm
Starting 9/15, the TSP will allow unlimited partial withdrawals/rollovers. That means you can multiple direct traditional TSP -> Roth IRA rollovers in any size and frequency you want. Any rollovers from any qualified plan to any other plan/account must be in cash. I don't understand why you think one is more difficult than the other.
I can move an ETF or mutual fund from tIRA to Roth IRA at Schwab. Maybe they buy and sell in the background, but I don't think so.

Added; I understand the rules will.change. I emphasized current rules.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 7:59 am
by JerryB
I turn 70.5 in 2020. Will TSP require me to make a RMD decision in January 2020 or can I just wait through 2020 and make my lump sum election for December 2020?

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 10:19 am
by Spirit Rider
JerryB wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:59 am
I turn 70.5 in 2020. Will TSP require me to make a RMD decision in January 2020 or can I just wait through 2020 and make my lump sum election for December 2020?
I am not sure what the TSP policies would be, but I can't see them insist on an RMD before your required beginning date RBD (4/1/2021).

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 10:32 am
by HueyLD
Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:19 am
JerryB wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:59 am
I turn 70.5 in 2020. Will TSP require me to make a RMD decision in January 2020 or can I just wait through 2020 and make my lump sum election for December 2020?
I am not sure what the TSP policies would be, but I can't see them insist on an RMD before your required beginning date RBD (4/1/2021).
Jerry,

TSP answers their phone as follows:

"If you need help or have a question, call the ThriftLine Monday–Friday 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., eastern time, at 1-877-968-3778 and press option 3 to speak to a Participant Service Representative."

Why don't you just call them directly? They are very professional and helpful.

With so many changes pending, it is best to call the source for reliable information.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:58 am
by JerryB
Post Deleted

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:13 am
by Jeff Albertson
JerryB wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:58 am
Even more changes pending with bills in congress to extend RMD's to 72. Any more news on this?
The proposed changes are part of H.R. 1994, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, which passed the House with an overwhelming bipartisan majority on May 23. The bill would also allow small businesses to band together to create retirement plans and broaden the uses of college savings accounts. Leaders in the Senate are now pushing to take up similar legislation, which also has wide support and was first introduced in 2016.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/04/your ... ities.html

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:17 pm
by rkhusky
Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched. Which is why discussion of future legislation is generally forbidden on the forum.

Re: TSP RMD's

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:26 pm
by JerryB
You are correct. Post deleted, but now its in the replies that I cannot delete.