Page 54 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2013

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54
APRIL 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
AFSA NEWS
Profciency in foreign lan-
guages is a crucial attri-
bute for all Foreign Service
personnel. The American
Foreign Service Association’s
Sinclaire Language Awards
program recognizes lan-
guage students for outstand-
ing accomplishments in the
study of a “hard” language
and its associated culture.
The Matilda W. Sinclaire
Language Award program
was established in 1982 by a
bequest from Ms. Sinclaire,
a former Foreign Service
employee, to AFSA. The
purpose of her bequest was
to “promote and reward
superior achievement by
career ofcers of the Foreign
Service of the United States
while studying one of the
‘hard’ languages under the
auspices of the Foreign Ser-
vice Institute of the Depart-
ment of State.”
Any career-conditional
Foreign Service member
from the foreign afairs agen-
cies (Department of State,
U.S. Agency for International
Development, Foreign Com-
mercial Service, Foreign
Agricultural Service, Animal
and Plant Health Inspection
Service, and the International
Broadcasting Bureau) is
eligible.
Language-training super-
visors at FSI’s School of
Language Studies, language
instructors at feld schools
AFSA Congratulates the 2012
Sinclaire Awards Winners
BY PERR I GREEN, COORDINATOR FOR SPECI AL
AWARDS AND OUTREACH
and post language ofcers
nominate candidates for the
award. Winners are selected
by a committee comprised
of volunteer AFSA members,
representatives from FSI, a
member of the AFSA Gov-
erning Board and the AFSA
special awards and outreach
coordinator. Winners receive
a check for $1,000 and a cer-
tifcate of recognition signed
by the AFSA president and
the chair of the AFSA Awards
and Plaques Committee.
AFSA congratulates this
year’s ten winners of the
Sinclaire Language Awards
and commends the School
of Language Studies at FSI
for its dedication in preparing
students of hard languages
for the intense challenges of
modern diplomacy.
TH I S YEAR ’S
WI NNERS ARE : 
Anne Casper
–Kinyarwanda
Vanna Chan
–Lithuanian
Rebecca Danis
–Pashto
Spencer Fields
–Albanian
Christina Le
–Greek
Dan McCandless
–Dari
Robert Mearkle
–Arabic
Nina Murray
–Lithuanian
Roshni Nirody
–Japanese
Kristen Pisani
–Greek
More information on the
Sinclaire Awards is available
at
www.afsa.org/sinclaire_
language_awards.aspx.
n
Note: This is a continuation of the article, “AFSA Speaker
Series: TSP Pre-Separation Briefng,” which appeared in the
March 2013 issue of
AFSA News:
In order to elect an in-service withdrawal, the participant must
be 59½ years of age or older. It is very important to know that
an in-service withdrawal may be made only once and must be
for at least $1,000 or up to the entire amount in the account.
By choosing to do an in-service withdrawal, the participant
is prohibited from receiving a partial post-service withdrawal
after separation. Also, a mandatory 20 percent federal tax is
withheld when the in-service withdrawal is sent directly to the
participant. However, any amount sent to another qualifed
account is not taxed.
For post-service withdrawals, there are several important
aspects to be aware of:
• Every separated participant with an account balance of
less than $200 will receive an automatic cashout.
• Once post-service contributions are prohibited, partici-
pants may still transfer funds from their traditional IRAs or
other eligible employer retirement plans.
• After April 1, once a participant turns 70½ and is separated
from service, he or she must take Required Minimum Distribu-
tions from their TSP account. The current RMD is 3.65 percent
of your account total. If participants fail to take out the RMD
by April 1, they will incur an IRS penalty of 50 percent of the
RMD amount.
• Each year going forward after the year in which you turn
70, you must take an RMD. Therefore, it is essential to submit
form TSP-70 by April 1 of the year after turning 70.
A lively question-and-answer session followed Urban’s
presentation.
You may view the seminar at
www.afsa.org/AFSAVideos.
aspx.
To view the presentation slides, please go to
www.afsa.
org/Portals/0/tsp_event_slides.pdf
. For more information on
the TSP, please visit
www.tsp.gov.
n
More on Managing Your Thrift
Savings Plan
BY MATTHEW SUMRAK , ASSOCI ATE COORDINATOR
FOR RET I REE COUNSEL ING AND LEGI SLAT ION
Corrections to
AFSA News
, March 2013:
Page 45: The Governing Board photo caption did not include those
members not pictured: Andrew Winter, Tim Corso, Molly Williamson.
Page 60: In the bottom right photo, the merit winner is Marshall
Richards, not Basil Smitham. Apologies to all.