The Foreign Service Journal, November 2019

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | NOVEMBER 2019 89 AFSA NEWS AFSA NEWS THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOCIATION TSP Rule Changes and New Tax Law: An Expert’s Take November 1 12-1 p.m. Job Search Program Graduation Reception at FSI November 11 Veterans Day – AFSA Offices Closed November 11 Federal Health Benefits Open Season Begins (through December 9) November 19 12-2 p.m. “FEHB Open Season” with Paula Jakub November 20 12-2 p.m. AFSA Governing Board Meeting November 28-29 Thanksgiving – AFSA Offices Closed December 2 AFSA Scholarship Applications Available Online December 11 4:30-6:30 p.m. AFSA Holiday Happy Hour December 18 12-2 p.m. AFSA Governing Board Meeting December 25 Christmas – AFSA Offices Closed January 1 New Years Day – AFSA Offices Closed CALENDAR Certified Financial Planner EdwardA. Zurndorfer returned to AFSA headquarters Sept. 4 to lead a seminar on recent changes to the Thrift Savings Plan and U.S. tax law, and their implications for members of the Foreign Service. Mr. Zurndorfer discussed changes to TSP’s withdrawal options. Many have com- plained in the past that the TSP has been too rigid about withdrawals, he said. Under the old rules, when you left federal service, you were allowed to take one partial withdrawal, of at least $1,000, from your TSP account. If you made one partial withdrawal, however, you couldn’t make another one, he said. And if you made that with- drawal, you could not also roll money from your TSP into a traditional IRA account. But under the new rules, which took effect in mid- September, TSP account owners 59.5 years old or older are now able to take up to four partial withdraw- als per calendar year while they are working, or up to 12 partial withdrawals per year after they retire. And these withdrawals can include roll- ing money from your TSP to a traditional IRA account. Mr. Zurndorfer is a repeat and valued participant in AFSA’s Federal Benefits Speakers Series. A registered employee benefits consultant, he is a recognized expert on Edward Zurndorfer leads a seminar at AFSA headquarters on recent changes in tax laws and TSP rules. AFSA/CAMERONWOODWORTH federal benefits and retire- ment and tax planning. He is the owner of EZAccount- ing and Financial Services in Silver Spring, Md. To watch a video of Mr. Zurndorfer’s presentation, visit n Please consider contribut- ing to the AFSA Richard C. Scissors Legal Defense Fund. The fund provides financial assistance to members with legal issues that have possible far- reaching significance to the rest of the Service, such as cases involving due process or fundamental fairness. AFSA routinely provides legal assistance to hundreds of Foreign Service members a year, both active-duty and retired. This excellent Support AFSA’s Legal Defense Fund assistance and advice is a member benefit. Inevitably, however, cases come along that require additional legal expertise or time that AFSA is unable to provide. In such instances the Legal Defense Fund can provide financial support that assists the member in retaining an outside attorney with expertise in a particular area of law. Unfortunately, this is one of those times. We have members in need, and your contribution can help. If you would like to make a donation, please visit You may also send a check made out to “Legal Defense Fund” to AFSA, c/o LDF, 2101 E St NW, Washington DC 20037. By making a contri- bution, you are helping AFSA preserve the very funda- mental right to due process. ( Please note that donations are not tax deductible .) n