Vesting requirement for TSP


Q. I have two years of service in the Department of Commerce and have been separated since 2012. When I left I did not vest in the automatic 1 percent agency contributions, and I had that amount forfeited. I have accepted a new federal position in the Department of Commerce and was wondering if I have to reset the clock on the three years required for vesting in the TSP? If the clock isn’t reset and I start back at the two-year mark, do the 1 percent agency contributions that I forfeited get returned to me? I never took a withdrawal of my contributions to FERS after I separated knowing that I’d likely return to government.

A. The vesting requirement can be satisfied with all of your federal service.


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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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