Ask The Experts: Money Matters

By Mike Miles

FERCCA

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Q. I am 56 years old and just found out that I should be in CSRS Offset, not FERS.  I’ve paid into my Thrift Savings Plan for more than 10 years. How does this affect my TSP contribution?

A. If you are erroneously covered by FERS and you choose to move out of FERS, the Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Correction Act allows you to keep the employee contributions you made in your TSP account (plus the earnings attributable to your contributions) even if the contributions exceed 5 percent of the basic pay you earned for the pay period that contributions had been made. However, all government contributions that were made to your account and the attributable earnings must be removed from your account if you do not choose FERS.

If you choose FERS coverage under FERCCA, you may make up those employee contributions that you could have made had you been correctly covered by FERS, as provided by the current TSP error correction legislation. In addition, you will receive the agency automatic (1 percent) contributions and agency matching contributions that you should have received had you been correctly covered by FERS. Finally, you will receive lost earnings on both your employee and agency make-up contributions. (Prior to FERCCA, lost earnings were payable only on agency make-up contributions.) The lost earnings on both employee and agency contributions will be determined the same way lost earnings are now determined on agency make-up contributions (that is, as provided by the current TSP regulations).

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