Q. I joined federal service in September 1984 and left at the end of August 1986. The FERS retirement program had not really been implemented and the Thrift Savings Plan did not exist. I declined to participate in CSRS since I was compelled to pay into Social Security and felt the additional retirement payments under CSRS were too much for me. In the summer of 1988, I returned to federal service and was told I had to wait a year before being eligible to participate in TSP. I heard from some employees that when TSP was first created, there was a “catch-up” payment to compensate FERS employees for when there was no TSP system in place (1984-1986). And this catch-up occurred while I was out of federal service. Can you comment on this since, in effect, I was unable to participate in the TSP system for three years of my federal employment and have only been able to purchase my portion of the defined benefit plan more recently?
A. This is outside of my area of expertise. You’ll need to check with your agency payroll administrator to see if you have any option to make up contributions.