Q: I plan on retiring in 2010 under the Civil Service Retirement System. I have recently opened a voluntary contribution (VC) account but only have put $25 into the VC account. I plan on putting a large amount of money in the VC account once I retire and then roll over only the after-tax contributions in the VC account into a Roth IRA. Will conversion of the VC account into a Roth IRA require that I aggregate my other IRA balances for the purpose of figuring out the taxable amount of this conversion?
A: This is really a question for a CPA, but as I understand it, IRA aggregation will be required.
He may need to check with OPM to see if he can put that large sum of money into his VC account after he’s retired. He may be required to make the large contribution while he’s still a CSRS employee. Page 17 of the publication “Increase Your Retirement Income: a Guide to the VC Program”, written by Reginald Jones states: “Only active CSRS employees may make contributions to VC accounts.”
That would definitely preclude any VC contributions after a CSRS employee retires. But it’s not an official OPM publication. OPM publication RI 83-10, “Voluntary Contributions Under the Civil Service Retirement System,” page 3 only says: “If you are an employee covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the CSRS Offset provisions…you may establish a voluntary contribution account to purchase additional annuity.” This wording under OPM’s own publication on the VC program means you definitely must be a current CSRS employee to open a VC account, yet it does not say you absolutely can’t make a contribution after you’re retired.
The questioner needs to check directly with OPM to see if he can do the large contribution once he’s retired.