Monthly Archives: January, 2012



Q. I will be retiring this year under the Civil Service Retirement System at age 56 with 33.75 years of service. I read an article on the Voluntary Contribution Program. Can I roll my Thrift Savings Program into the VCP prior to retirement and then roll it into an Individual Retirement Account to save being taxed? A. No. The VCP only accepts after-tax contributions. You may roll your VCP balance into an IRA or Roth IRA, however.

Post-retirement TSP rollover


Q. Can I roll my Thrift Savings Plan over to an Individual Retirement Account when I retire? I have at least four more years to go. I will be 57 with 30 years in. I am under the Federal Employees Retirement System. I can’t believe I can’t touch my money unless I am 59.5. Why is it taking so long to get our retirement annuity? I will retire as a GS-6 Step 9. A. Yes, you may roll your TSP money into an IRA after you retire.

Buyout or keep working: You must weigh both ‘deals’


Buyouts. Career feds anywhere near retirement eligibility can rival Indiana Jones in their determination, skill and daring in hunting this treasure. But, in reality, buyout offers are more like “Let’s Make A Deal” than “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” This game show is actually instructive in some of the fundamentals of probability and decision-making. In playing the game, contestants face a series of decisions in which they must choose to keep or trade a “bird-in-the-hand” for another prize hidden behind a curtain or in a box — a “bird-in-the-bush.” When you are offered the opportunity to retire with incentives, like cash,…

FERS, TSP and retirement


Q. I have 26 years of Defense Department service with a target of six years to go before retiring. The Federal Employees Retirement System isn’t doing very well with the Thrift Savings Plan Offset. Because of a failing market, I have missed my TSP target by a large sum. Does the government have any plans to assist the FERS employees looking to retire with a failed TSP? Most FERS employees are having to work past their target because they can’t afford to retire. The Civil Service Retirement System is much better. Combining FERS, TSP and Social Security, we still fall short compared…

401(k) rollover


Q.  I am currently employed with 10 years service accrued in the Federal Employee Retirement System. If I were separated/left federal employment for the private sector, would I be allowed to roll over the entire contents of my 401(k) account (acquired via my new employment) into my Thrift Savings Plan? Similarly, if I were to retire from federal employment, would I be allowed to roll over the entire contents of any 401(k) account(s) (acquired as a result of any previous private-sector employment) into my TSP? A. As long as you maintain your TSP account, whether employed, separated or retired from federal…

Contributions after retirement


Q. I retired in 2007 and am in the Civil Service Retirement System. Am I permitted to continue to contribute monthly to my Thrift Savings Program? May I roll over the entire contents of my Individual Retirement Account into TSP?  Can I then make monthly contributions into TSP from my checking account? A. You may not contribute to the TSP after you retire, but you may transfer eligible IRA balances into the TSP at any time. To be eligible, the IRA must contain only pretax money.

TSP rollover


Q. I am considering taking an early retirement offer. If I were to have another financial institution purchase an annuity that is offering a better interest rate than what MetLife is offering through the Thrift Savings Plan and do so directly so that it would not be deposited to a personal checking or savings account, would it be exempt from tax penalties because I am under 59½, even though it would be taxed as regular income through the payments from the annuity provider as it would if TSP purchased the annuity for me? A. Yes. You may roll TSP money…

IRA nightmare


Q. I am a retired federal worker. I am in the Federal Employees Retirement System, a Thrift Savings Program participant, and, because I am over 70½ years old, I have been taking my Required Minimum Distribution in the form of monthly payments based on my life expectancy. I also have a traditional Individual Retirement Account with my local bank. I also have a Roth IRA at this bank. I want to consolidate some of my funds and increase my monthly payments by transferring my traditional IRA to my TSP account. I was told by the bank that the time for…

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