IRA rule doesn't apply to TSP


Q: My husband and I want to convert all or a portion of our traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs in 2010. Our contributions have been nondeductible and our IRA accounts are about double the investments we have made (value versus basis). So, we will be paying tax on the earnings.  Then I thought about our Thrift Savings Plan accounts. Are these considered IRAs for the purposes of this conversion opportunity? I read that the IRS will consider all IRAs; you can’t pick and choose among or within our IRA regarding the conversion, but I certainly would not want to have to deal with my TSP in this equation.

A: No. Your TSP is an employer-sponsored retirement plan and not included in the aggregation rule that applies to IRAs.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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