Retirement and TSP


Q. I am a current employee with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security) with 13 years of service. I am considering transitioning to a part-time (20 hours) position with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Will I still be able to contribute to TSP? Can I contribute the maximum? Are there matching funds when you work part time? How will my part-time service reduce my retirement calculation? I am trying to gain more work-life balance and want to understand the financial ramifications before I make any decisions.

A. If you would be eligible to contribute as a full-time employee, your part-time status will not affect that eligibility. The usual contribution limits and agency matching rates will apply. It will be as though you are a full-time employee earning less money.


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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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