Browsing: matching funds

Best plan for maximum returns


Q. I have been using a Vanguard Roth IRA Target Fund for my retirement account. Now that I work for the federal government, I have a Thrift Savings Plan standard account and contribute the additional 5 percent to take full advantage of employee matching. I’m 37 and plan on working until at least 67. I believe my best bet is to just keep maxing out my Vanguard Roth IRA, taking full advantage of my employee matching and putting away anything extra I can into my Vanguard Roth IRA. Do you think that is my best bet, or should I stop…

Rollover and TSP matching


Q. I am a 56-year-old federal employee with six years of service. I have traditional and Roth Thrift Savings Plans. I also have a traditional IRA with TIAA-CREF. Since my budget is too tight to take advantage of the full federal matching amount, can I use my TIAA-CREF IRA funds to maximize my federal match? If I roll over TIAA-CREF funds into my traditional TSP, will these funds receive federal matching? Also, I understand early withdrawal of traditional TSP funds is subject to income tax, but if I roll over TIAA-CREF funds into my traditional TSP, are withdrawals at age…

Matching and Roth TSP


Q. How is the federal matching amount handled for the Roth TSP option? Under the traditional TSP, that amount is added to the deferred compensation and taxed when distributed. Is the matching put into the Roth? When is it taxed? A. Matching is based on amounts you contribute to either the traditional or Roth TSP accounts, but agency contributions are directed entirely to your traditional TSP account.



Q. I retired in 2010 and, at that time, I was informed that I was in the wrong retirement system (FERS). I chose to be put in the proper program (CSRS Offset). I was also told by my human resources manager that, since I was in retirement, I would be able to keep all of my Thrift Savings Plan contributions, including the agency’s matching contributions. On Dec. 3, the agency forfeited about a fourth of the value of my TSP account, without any notification that this was going to happen. Is this a legal action? Why was I not informed…

Maximizing TSP matching


Q. I’m FERS and will be retiring in January as soon as we get 100 percent credit for sick leave. I anticipate two checks coming in. If I were to put as much as possible into my Thrift Savings Plan — let’s say I was able to put in $16,000 over the two pay periods — how does the government match this? Is it per pay period or the amount I contribute?  What is the consensus to get the most in a short period of time? If I put in all available funds, after deductions, and it is considered pretax, can I…

Lump-sum payment of leave


Q. If the lump-sum payment is considered earned income for tax purposes but is not eligible to Thrift Savings Plan deferral nor does it serve as the base for automatic agency contributions, wouldn’t it make better sense not to cash in the leave? Rather, wouldn’t it be more lucrative to continue working, take the earned vacation over the year, collect matching funds for TSP, matching funds for health insurance, and on top of that, continue to accrue more annual leave, more sick leave, and enjoy the vacation time off?  I understand no supervisor/manager would approve a single vacation of 5+…

Resignation and benefits


Q. I am a FERS employee with 14 years service, age 53. Tired of the pay freeze and “no money for promotions” line. Also tired of doing the jobs of higher paid co-workers while they call in sick two to three days a week. If I resign, can I take my FERS and Thrift Savings Plan in one lump sum and walk away? I am also a military retiree and have my pension and Tricare health care plans from that, so that is not a concern. Understanding the tax hit, will I just receive what I contributed, or the fed matching,…

Resignation and matching funds


Q. If I resign at age 51 with 25 years of service, will I lose the government matching funds that went into my Thrift Savings Plan? Will I be able to receive a deferred annuity at age 62? What would that be — 25 percent of high-3? A. Mike: Agency matching contributions are not subject to a vesting requirement and are not forfeited at termination. Reg: Because you have at least 20 years of service, you could apply for a deferred annuity at age 60. Since each year of service would be worth 1 percent, with 25 years, your annuity…

Traditional vs. Roth TSP


Q. I’m a 28-year-old FERS employee contributing 10 percent of my salary plus my agency’s 5 percent match to a traditional Thrift Savings Plan. I’m planning to increase my contribution by 1 percent each time I approach a step increase or other pay increase until I eventually max out my contributions. My decision now is to determine whether to put these additional contributions into a traditional or a Roth TSP. My understanding of the trade-off analysis is that it essentially comes down to an assessment of my current effective tax rate compared with what I project my effective tax rate will…

Retirement questions


Q. I have selected a retirement date of June 28, 2014. I will be 59½ years old with 33½ years of government service. I have been FERS my whole career. I have $365,000 in my Thrift Savings Plan. I will retire with a high-3 at GS-13, Step 4 and a 16.51 percent locality pay. I am debating paying off my mortgage on my retirement home by taking a partial withdrawal from my TSP. The reasons for this are: 1) Escrow of property taxes 2) Flood insurance imposed by Dodd-Frank 3) Desire to be mortgage-free in retirement. I owe $185,000 on…

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