Cons of Withdrawing from a TSP

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Potential Risks of Withdrawing from a TSP

  1. Running Out of Funds: Withdrawing from a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) during times of poor market performance increases the risk of depleting your retirement savings prematurely. This is especially a concern if withdrawals are made while the market is down, as it reduces the principal, which in turn limits the growth potential of the remaining funds.
  2. Loss of Compounding Benefits: TSP accounts benefit from compound interest over time. Withdrawing funds means you lose out on potential future growth that could have accrued, impacting the overall value of your retirement savings.
  3. Tax Implications: Withdrawals from a TSP can have tax consequences. Depending on your age and the type of withdrawal, you may be subject to income taxes and possibly early withdrawal penalties.
  4. Missed Investment Opportunities: TSPs often offer a range of investment options. Withdrawing funds limits your ability to take advantage of these, potentially missing out on market recoveries or growth periods.
  5. Administrative Challenges: There may be specific rules and limitations on withdrawals that can complicate the process, such as restrictions on the frequency and amount of withdrawals.

Comparing TSP Withdrawal with Rolling into an IRA Annuity

  • IRA Annuities for Stability: Rolling your TSP into an IRA annuity with a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit can provide a stable and predictable income stream. This mitigates the risk of running out of money by ensuring a fixed withdrawal amount for life.
  • Protection Against Market Volatility: IRA annuities can offer protection against poor market performance, which is a significant concern when withdrawing directly from a TSP during market downturns.
  • Earning Interest: Some IRA annuities allow the accumulation of interest, potentially increasing the value of your retirement fund over time.
  • lump-sum death benefit: IRA annuities often include a lump-sum death benefit, providing financial support to beneficiaries.


While withdrawing from a TSP can present risks such as running out of funds, loss of compounding benefits, and tax implications, transitioning into an IRA annuity can offer stability, protection from market volatility, and additional benefits like earning interest and a lump-sum death benefit. Evaluate your retirement needs carefully to choose the best option.

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Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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