Does a TSP Withdrawal Affect Social Security?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Does a TSP Withdrawal Affect Social Security?

A Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) withdrawal does not directly affect Social Security benefits. TSP is a retirement savings plan for federal employees, similar to a 401(k). Withdrawals from a TSP are considered part of your retirement income but do not influence the calculation of Social Security benefits.

Key Points

  1. Separate Systems: Social Security and TSP are distinct entities. Social Security benefits are calculated based on your earnings history, not your retirement plan distributions.
  2. Tax Considerations: While TSP withdrawals do not affect Social Security benefits, they are subject to federal income tax. This could potentially impact the taxation of Social Security benefits, as higher overall income can lead to a portion of Social Security benefits being taxed.
  3. Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs): At age 73, TSP account holders must start taking RMDs. These mandatory withdrawals are considered taxable income but do not change Social Security benefits.


  • Example 1: A federal employee retires at 67, starts receiving Social Security benefits, and also begins making TSP withdrawals. The amount of Social Security benefits remains the same regardless of the TSP withdrawals.
  • Example 2: If the retiree’s total income, including TSP withdrawals, exceeds certain thresholds, a portion of their Social Security benefits may be subject to federal income tax.

Impact of TSP Withdrawals on Retirement Income

ScenarioTSP WithdrawalSocial Security BenefitsTax Impact
Below Income ThresholdYesUnchangedNo additional taxes on benefits
Above Income ThresholdYesUnchangedPortion of benefits may be taxed


Withdrawing from a TSP does not directly affect the amount of Social Security benefits you receive. However, it’s important to consider the potential tax implications of your overall retirement income. Understanding how these two aspects interact ensures a more comprehensive retirement plan. For a more detailed analysis tailored to your specific situation, contact us today for a free quote.

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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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