Increasing monthly TSP contributions


Q. I am a GS-04, Step 10. My account balance as of Dec. 31 would provide me with a lifetime Thrift Savings Plan monthly amount of $451. As of this time, I contribute $300 every pay period to TSP. Let’s say my goal is to have a lifetime TSP monthly amount of $1,000. By how much would I have to increase my TSP amount each pay period? I am 52 years old. I am under FERS. If I was offered an early retirement, should I take it? Or should take the chance of getting furloughed for an uncertain amount of time?

A. Unfortunately, it is impossible to answer your question, since the answer will depend upon a number of factors including the rate of return on your TSP investment between now and the time of you buy your annuity, the sequence of the returns and how they align with your savings contributions, the way you manage your TSP account and the annuity payout rate in effect at the time of purchase. You should consider seeking the help of a trustworthy and cost effective investment adviser.


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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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