United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jul 21, 2024

§ 8433.
Benefits and election of benefits
(a)
An employee or Member who separates from Government employment is entitled to the amount of the balance in the employee’s or Member’s account (except for the portion of such amount forfeited under section 8432(g) of this title, if any) as provided in this section.
(b)
Subject to section 8435 of this title, any employee or Member who separates from Government employment is entitled and may elect to withdraw from the Thrift Savings Fund the balance of the employee’s or Member’s account as—
(1)
an annuity;
(2)
a single payment;
(3)
2 or more substantially equal payments to be made not less frequently than annually; or
(4)
any combination of payments as provided under paragraphs (1) through (3) as the Executive Director may prescribe by regulation.
(c)
(1)
In addition to the right provided under subsection (b) to withdraw the balance of the account, an employee or Member who separates from Government service may make one or more withdrawals of any amount in the same manner as a single payment is made in accordance with subsection (b)(2) from the employee’s or Member’s account.
(2)
An employee or Member may request that the amount withdrawn from the Thrift Savings Fund in accordance with subsection (b)(2) be transferred to an eligible retirement plan.
(3)
The Executive Director shall make each transfer elected under paragraph (2) directly to an eligible retirement plan or plans (as defined in section 402(c)(8) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) identified by the employee, Member, former employee, or former Member for whom the transfer is made.
(4)
A transfer may not be made for an employee, Member, former employee, or former Member under paragraph (2) until the Executive Director receives from that individual the information required by the Executive Director specifically to identify the eligible retirement plan or plans to which the transfer is to be made.
(5)
Withdrawals under this subsection shall be subject to such other limitations or conditions as the Executive Director may prescribe by regulation.
(d)
(1)
Subject to paragraph (2) and subsections (a) and (c) of section 8435 of this title, an employee or Member may change an election previously made under this subchapter, except that in the case of an election to receive an annuity, a former employee or Member may not change an election under this section on or after the date on which an annuity contract is purchased to provide for the annuity elected by the former employee or Member.
(2)
A former employee or Member may not return a payment that was made pursuant to an election under this section.
(e)
(1)
If an employee or Member (or former employee or Member) dies without having made an election under this section or after having elected an annuity under this section but before making an election under section 8434 of this title, an amount equal to the value of that individual’s account (as of death) shall, subject to any decree, order, or agreement referred to in section 8435(c)(2) of this title be paid in a manner consistent with section 8424(d) of this title.
(2)
Notwithstanding section 8424(d), if an employee, Member, former employee, or former Member dies and has designated as sole or partial beneficiary his or her spouse at the time of death, or, if an employee, Member, former employee, or former Member, dies with no designated beneficiary and is survived by a spouse, the spouse may maintain the portion of the employee’s or Member’s account to which the spouse is entitled in accordance with the following terms:
(A)
Subject to the limitations of subparagraph (B), the spouse shall have the same withdrawal options under subsection (b) as the employee or Member were the employee or Member living.
(B)
The spouse may not make withdrawals under subsection (g) or (h).
(C)
The spouse may not make contributions or transfers to the account.
(D)
The account shall be disbursed upon the death of the surviving spouse. A beneficiary or surviving spouse of a deceased spouse who has inherited an account is ineligible to maintain the inherited spousal account.
(3)
The Executive Director shall prescribe regulations to carry out this subsection.
(f)
Notwithstanding subsection (b), if an employee or Member separates from Government employment, and such employee’s or Member’s nonforfeitable account balance is less than an amount that the Executive Director prescribes by regulation, the Executive Director shall pay the nonforfeitable account balance to the participant in a single payment, unless an election under section 8432b(h)(2) is made to treat such separation for purposes of this subsection as if it had never occurred.
(g)
(1)
At any time before separation, an employee or Member may apply to the Board for permission to borrow from the employee’s or Member’s account an amount not exceeding the value of that portion of such account which is attributable to contributions made by the employee or Member. Before a loan is issued, the Executive Director shall provide in writing the employee or Member with appropriate information concerning the cost of the loan relative to other sources of financing, as well as the lifetime cost of the loan, including the difference in interest rates between the funds offered by the Thrift Savings Fund, and any other effect of such loan on the employee’s or Member’s final account balance.
(2)
Loans under this subsection shall be available to all employees and Members on a reasonably equivalent basis, and shall be subject to such other conditions as the Board may by regulation prescribe. The restrictions of section 8477(c)(1) of this title shall not apply to loans made under this subsection.
(3)
A loan may not be made under this subsection to the extent that the loan would be treated as a taxable distribution under section 72(p) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
(4)
A loan may not be made under this subsection unless the requirements of section 8435(e) of this title are satisfied.
(h)
(1)
An employee or Member may apply, before separation, to the Board for permission to withdraw an amount from the employee’s or Member’s account based upon—
(A)
the employee or Member having attained age 59½; or
(B)
financial hardship.
(2)
A withdrawal under paragraph (1)(B) shall be available only for an amount not exceeding the value of that portion of such account which is attributable to contributions made by the employee or Member.
(3)
Withdrawals under paragraph (1) shall be subject to such other limitations or conditions as the Executive Director may prescribe by regulation.
(4)
A withdrawal may not be made under this subsection unless the requirements of section 8435(e) of this title are satisfied.
(Added Pub. L. 99–335, title I, § 101(a), June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 544; amended Pub. L. 100–238, title I, § 132, Jan. 8, 1988, 101 Stat. 1760; Pub. L. 101–335, §§ 5(a), 6(a)(2), July 17, 1990, 104 Stat. 321, 322; Pub. L. 102–484, div. D, title XLIV, § 4437(a), Oct. 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 2724; Pub. L. 103–226, § 9(b), (i)(3)–(7), Mar. 30, 1994, 108 Stat. 119, 121, 122; Pub. L. 103–353, §§ 4(b), 5(e)(4), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3172, 3174; Pub. L. 104–208, div. A, title I, § 101(f) [title VI, § 659 [title II, § 203(a)]], Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–314, 3009–372, 3009–374; Pub. L. 106–65, div. A, title VI, § 661(a)(4), Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 672; Pub. L. 108–469, § 3(1), Dec. 21, 2004, 118 Stat. 3893; Pub. L. 111–31, div. B, title I, § 109, June 22, 2009, 123 Stat. 1856; Pub. L. 115–84, § 2(a)–(d), Nov. 17, 2017, 131 Stat. 1272, 1273.)
cite as: 5 USC 8433