Feb 24 2019

TSP: Basics

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Life Annuities: Basics

What is a Life Annuity?

A life annuity provides guaranteed monthly payments for as long as you are alive. If you want a life annuity that pays benefits to a survivor, or joint annuitant, you have that option as well.

The TSP life annuity is one of the full withdrawal options that are available to you once you have left the Federal Government or the uniformed services.

Make sure you do not confuse the TSP annuity that you can purchase as a full withdrawal option with the annuity that is part of your retirement package. The TSP annuity is not the basic annuity that you will receive when you retire as either a FERS or CSRS employee, or the retired pay that you receive as a member of the uniformed services.

Be aware that the TSP annuity is not the same as a TSP monthly payment. A TSP monthly payment is one of the other full withdrawal options that you have when you leave Federal service.

Who is Eligible to Purchase a TSP Life Annuity?

You are eligible to purchase a TSP life annuity if you:

  • Are separated from Federal civilian employment or the uniformed services
  • Purchase an annuity with $3,500 or more of your vested account balance (applies to traditional and Roth balances separately)

Written by OHIO

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