By Mike Miles
March 26th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. I am a federal law enforcement officer covered by FERS and, by Sept. 30, I will have more than 29 years of service plus more than a year of sick leave. To obtain my annuity beginning Oct. 1, I would like to retire on Sept. 30, but it is in the middle of a pay period. I plan on front-loading my Thrift Savings Plan and TSP catch-up contributions starting in April for the rest of this year to reach the maximum for both. Would there be any TSP match in my last, partial pay period, or should I just aim to reach my TSP limits in the previous complete pay period?
A. There will be matching on every pay period.
March 21st, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. I’m a 58-year-old FERS employee with 29 years of service. I have two years of leave without pay from while I was mobilized in the Army Reserve (2004-06). I am in the process of paying my military deposit to buy back this time.
After returning to federal service, I did not identify that I wanted to catch up on the Thrift Savings Plan and get my TSP matching contributions.
I recently read on the TSP website that I could still use the substantial contributions I made to the uniformed services TSP to request my civilian matching contributions. I have my military leave and earnings statements to confirm my contributions; and the TSP website confirms I never received the automatic 1 percent or the 4 percent matching funds.
Can I still submit for the retroactive TSP contributions? If so, should I do it through the agency I was with while on duty, or through my current agency I subsequently transferred to later on?
A. See this notice https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/oc95-5.pdf and go to your agency human resources office to pursue the missed agency contributions.
January 9th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. I am a GS-14 criminal investigator with 16 years covered service, and I am expecting to contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan for another 10 years or so before retiring. I have been contributing the TSP maximum for the past 10 years. What is your guidance with the Roth option? Should I scale back my TSP contribution to the 6 percent minimum to capture the matching contributions and invest the rest with the Roth option?
A. Without a good reason to do otherwise, I prefer the tax-deferred contributions.
December 31st, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. I was involuntarily separated under FERS discontinued service retirement with 26½ years of service. I was rehired to a federal job and opted to receive both salary and annuity. I no longer contribute to FERS and understand why I no longer get matching contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan, but why can’t I contribute my own money to TSP and get the tax deferral? I have a TSP account but do not plan on withdrawing money until I permanently retire in several years.
A. The only way that you’re allowed to contribute to the TSP is through payroll deferral or by transferring pretax money in from an IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or other qualified retirement plan.
December 10th, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. I plan to retire under FERS law enforcement on May 30, contributing my full $17,500 and $5,500 catch-up contribution in my first 10 to 12 paychecks. If I purposely make larger contributions early in the year in an attempt to reach the annual maximum contribution before retiring, will I lose out on agency matching contributions?
A. Not if you spread the contributions out evenly over the duration of your remaining employment.
December 3rd, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. If I have both a traditional and a Roth TSP, can I elect to have all of my contributions (6 percent) go to the Roth account, and still receive the 5 percent matching contributions (FERS employee) that I have been receiving? Is there a required minimum of my contributions that must go to the traditional account?
A. The matching formula applies to all of your deferral contributions, Roth or traditional.
August 14th, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. I am a young federal employee with three years of service with the Department of Agriculture. I have contributed 10 percent (5 percent matched) into my traditional Thrift Savings Plan. As I understand, I would lose the 5 percent government-matched money if I move all of my contributions to Roth TSP. Would it be best to open an additional Roth TSP to my traditional TSP, or structure it differently?
A. You will not lose your matching contributions if you shift your contributions to the Roth TSP.
May 14th, 2012 | Uncategorized
Q. If I contribute to the new TSP Roth, would I still receive the agency matching contributions?
A. Yes, but the agency contributions go into your tax-deferred account.
August 2nd, 2010 | Uncategorized
Q: I plan on withdrawing money from my Thrift Savings Plan account for a residential loan. Can I continue my contributions and receive matching funds during the repayment period? Also, is it required that repayment is done through payroll deduction? As I intend to pay back the loan in 20 months from my wife’s income, I prefer to pay directly by check each month.
A: You may continue to contribute and receive matching contributions while repaying your loan. Your loan must be repaid through payroll deduction.
August 2nd, 2010 | Uncategorized
Q: I am currently on military leave without pay from the U.S. Postal Service and have been on active duty with the Air Force for about 12 months. When I was with the USPS, I was contributing 5 percent to the Thrift Savings Plan and receiving the available agency matching funds. During my period of active duty, I have been contributing 10 percent to the TSP with no matching funds.
What are the rules or regulations with regards to agency matching funds upon my return to the USPS? Specifically, would I be eligible for any agency matching contributions during the military LWOP period? Could you please also cite the publication or reference that would address this?
A: Depending upon your circumstances, you may be able to make up some or all of your civilian TSP contributions and receive corresponding matching contributions on those deposits. See this fact sheet at the official Thrift Savings Plan website for more details.