Ask The Experts: Money Matters

By Mike Miles

CSRS annuity payments treated as rollover

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Q. Based on a reading of Internal Revenue Service Publication 721, it appears to say that since the CSRS and FERS retirement systems are considered “eligible retirement plans” you could roll over a distribution (including a regular annuity payment) into another IRA and defer the taxes, or into a Roth IRA and pay the taxes immediately. If this is the case, the normal IRS limitation on contributions to IRAs and Roth IRAs are bypassed. Am I reading this correctly?

A. From IRS Publication 721: “Distributions eligible for rollover treatment. If you receive a refund of your CSRS or FERS contributions when you leave government service, you can roll over any interest you receive on the contributions.You cannot roll over any part of your CSRS or FERS annuity payments.”

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