That very well could be the case. Employee Stock Ownership Plans have unique rules based on how they are set up by the company. The easiest way to figure out what the rules specific to your old company’s plan are is to take a look at what is called the Summary Plan Description. This document will outline the distribution options available to you. If you don’t have a copy, request one from the plan’s administrator. I can tell you that it would generally be within the law for a plan to delay your distribution to age 65 and/or make that distribution in a installments. So, my guess is that what you’ve been told is accurate, but review the Summary Plan Description to be sure. In the meantime, take advantage of the TSP and take a close look at the new Roth TSP option. Good luck!