IRA contributions


Q. I contribute the maximum amount to my Thrift Savings Plan each year. Can I also contribute the maximum amount to a traditional IRA? Are there any prohibitions to me doing this? Is there a limit to tax deferring compensation? What I am considering doing, if possible, is to contribute to a traditional IRA for a number of years, then roll it over into my TSP if that could possibly provide a better benefit, such as when it comes time to purchase an annuity.

A. If only it were that easy! There are limits, and the amount you can contribute to an IRA (including the amount of that contribution that can be deducted) depends upon your Adjusted Gross Income and your tax filing status. See IRS Publication 590 for the rules. Also, keep in mind that an IRA containing nondeductible contributions can’t be transferred into the TSP.


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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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