What Happens to My TSP When I Retire?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Options for Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) at Retirement

Keeping Your TSP Account

  • Stays in TSP: Your funds remain in the TSP account.
  • Continued Growth Potential: The account continues to accrue earnings based on your investment choices.
  • Withdrawal Options: You have flexibility in how and when you withdraw funds.

Using the Annuity Option

  • Annuity Provider: Administered by the TSP.
  • Regular Payments: Provides a stream of income.
  • Lack of Flexibility: Once chosen, options can’t be changed.

Rolling into an Individual IRA Fixed Indexed Annuity

  • Protection from Market Loss: Eliminates exposure to stock market downturns.
  • Growth Potential: Offers the possibility of earning based on a specific index.
  • Guaranteed Income: Ensures a steady income throughout retirement.
  • Tax Benefits: Potentially favorable tax treatment compared to direct withdrawals.

Comparing TSP Retirement Options

FeatureStays in TSPAnnuity OptionIRA Fixed Indexed Annuity
Risk ExposureDepends on Investment ChoicesLowProtected from Market Loss
Potential for GrowthYesLimitedYes, based on index
Guaranteed IncomeNoYesYes


Choosing the right option for your TSP at retirement is crucial. While keeping your TSP account offers flexibility and growth potential, the annuity option and rolling into an IRA fixed indexed annuity provides guaranteed income. The IRA option particularly protects against market losses while still offering growth opportunities. Consider your retirement goals and financial situation to make the best choice.

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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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