If you are a Thrift Savings Plan participant, do yourself a favor and ignore your personal rate of return. This nearly useless piece of information is provided by the TSP in your quarterly statements. While you might find this number interesting, it tends to draw your attention away from important information. Your personal rate of return, or PROR, is a number that pretends to quantify the performance of your TSP account over the most recent 12 calendar months. Unfortunately, there are a number of problems with this statistic that make it useless at best and dangerous to use at worst.
Q. I will be 70½ in October 2017, and I understand I will be required to take my first required minimum distribution from my non-TSP IRAs in 2017, or wait until April 2018 and take two RMDs (the one for 2017 and the one for 2018). However, since I am still a federal employee and will remain so until I retire on Jan. 5, 2018, I believe I will not have to take a TSP RMD for 2017, so I will only need to take a single RMD from TSP in 2018. Is that correct?
Q. I was told in mediation that my 6-month-old, 15-year residential TSP loan of $300/month ($42,000) does not get considered as debt in figuring division of assets. This TSP debt was to acquire our principal residence that is without bank lien and will be granted to her. Am I required to pay this monthly debt on my TSP without some sort of concession on the part of my spouse?
Q. I just retired last month from federal service. My Ameriprise adviser has advised me to move my TSP (which is about $800,000) over to an IRA with Ameriprise and then move some of that amount over to a Roth with Ameriprise. Can I convert my TSP to a Roth TSP? If not, then should I transfer some, none or all of my TSP over to Ameriprise?
Q. I have a separate Roth IRA with a fiduciary adviser, but my TSP consistently out performs my Roth. Is there any benefit to cashing out my Roth and starting to contribute to the TSP Roth account? I am 45 years old and have a total of $150,000 in my Roth account. I am currently maximizing my traditional TSP contributions.
Q. I will turn 50 on March 8. I wanted to ensure that I did the catch-up contributions, so when I called ABC center to confirm that I did everything right, the representative asked me if I saw a box in which I could contribute and a submit button. I replied: “Yes.” He said I could enter the info for the contribution that day (this was Dec, 21, 2016) and the contribution would be effective on Dec. 25, 2016. I explained to the gentleman that I didn’t turn 50 until the year 2017. He said the pay period included 2017. Will I…
Q. I will not be retiring until somewhere between December 2018 and December 2019, but am thinking ahead and trying to plan how one should withdraw money from TSP in retirement if you want to use the monthly payment option. Can you specify that the monthly payment all comes from one particular fund? Does it make sense to put how much you expect to withdraw in a particular year in the L income fund and draw only from that fund and then adjust what you have in that fund annually? I would like to protect myself from market volatility but…
Q. I am an active-duty service member and will be eligible for retirement in about seven years. I have contributed the maximum amount allowed to my TSP account but have only been contributing for roughly five years. I maintain a large amount of cash in my personal checking account because I’m not sure I know how to invest it properly. I feel like I could be getting a better return on it somewhere but just don’t know the best place to put it. I own a small condo that we pay mortgage on that I rent, but honestly I wish I could…
Q. My concern about the impact of a federal debt default on TSP accounts is that my account would be subject to bankruptcy as a federal government asset, and therefore be reduced to something like $0.10 on the dollar. Are the funds mine or those of the federal government?
Q. Both the president and OMB nominee have floated the idea of defaulting on national debt in order to settle it at a lower cost. What impact would there be on TSP accounts if debt were defaulted upon?