Lump sum withdrawal


Q: Upon my CSRS retirement from the United States Postal Service, will I be permitted to withdraw my annuity, my accrued sick leave, my TSP and accrued vacation in separate lump amounts to they can be reinvested in private accounts, later to be inherited by my children?

A: You can’t withdraw your annuity in a lump sum. Instead, when you retire, you will receive monthly annuity payments. Neither will you be able to receive a lump sum for any unused sick leave. That leave will have been added to your actual service and used to increase the amount of your annuity. You will continue to receive that annuity until you die. A portion of it will be based on contributions you made to the retirement fund and will be tax free. If you elect a survivor annuity for your spouse and there are any unexpended contributions left when you die, he or she will be able to continue to receive a portion of the survivor annuity tax free. If he or she were to die before all the contributions have been paid out, the remainder will be distributed in a lump sum according to the standard order of precedence, with your children being the next in line. On the other hand, you will automatically receive a lump-sum payment for any unused annual leave.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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