Browsing: contributions

Q. I retired from the Postal Service on Jan. 31 with a Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay of $15,000. The VSIP was paid out as $10,000 this year and $5,000 in 2014. I know I can contribute to an IRA for 2013 since I had earned income during the month of January. Now that I’m retired, will I still be able to contribute to an IRA in 2014 because of the $5,000 in “income” that I’ll receive from the Postal Service? A. A VSIP is not considered a basis for contribution to an IRA.

Q. I was first employed by the Defense Department in October 1982 and placed in CSRS. During a reduction in force, I lost my position in July 1994. In 1996, I withdrew my CSRS contributions and had them rolled into an annuity with American Express (now Ameriprise). In November 1998, I was rehired by DoD and became a FERS employee. When I was rehired by DoD, I took the funds I had earned at my previous (1994-1998) job’s 401(k) and rolled them into the same annuity with Ameriprise. I am now nearing retirement age and plan to buy back the CSRS…

Q. I’m an active-duty Army officer who finally this July got around to transferring 100 percent of my funds (all in G) into the L2040 lifecycle funds given that they have a much better rate of return and reasonable amount of risk. The total value of my G Fund before transfer was $133,700, composed of $126,468 of contributions and only $7,232 of unrealized gain. After transfer, the total value of my account remained the same — approximately $133,700. However, it showed that only $91,368 had been used to buy shares in the L2040 fund. Presumably, the difference of $42,332 would be…

Q. I am almost 47 years old and have applied for disability retirement from my federal job. I have 27 years of federal service and am covered under FERS. It was my understanding that upon disability retirement, I will not be able to contribute to my Thrift Savings Plan account any longer and the funds would basically sit in TSP until I’m 59½ years old. For that reason, I’m considering rolling over my TSP to a traditional IRA, in which I can then make contributions to until I reach 59½. I’d like to know why leaving the funds with TSP would…

Q. I’m 68 years old (under FERS) and have a Roth IRA that’s external to the Thrift Savings Plan and has been open and funded for more than 10 years. I started contributing to my TSP Roth IRA this year. When I retire in 2015, I want to be able to roll over my TSP Roth IRA into my external Roth IRA without any tax consequences.  I understand that I’ve clearly met the age requirement (older than 59½), but I want to make sure I also meet the five-year rule. Does the five-year rule apply to the time that funds were…

Q. I contribute 5 percent to my Thrift Savings Plan, ensuring that I get the full matching. I would like to contribute more to my retirement and am not sure whether to increase my TSP contributions or contribute to my IRA. Aside from the low overhead of the TSP, are there any fundamental differences between contributing to either one? Are there other particular benefits to investing in the TSP or the IRA that I should take into account? A. The TSP’s low cost and the availability of the G Fund make it the best retirement investment vehicle you’ll find. Without a good reason…

Q. I’ve been making substantial contributions in the Roth TSP and plan to do so until I retire. I have a large sum in my non-Roth TSP account. I’ve read that when I begin to take TSP withdrawals in retirement, I cannot specify whether they come from the Roth or non-Roth TSP. I read that the withdrawals will be taken pro-rata from both forms of the TSP. Is that correct? If I want my Roth TSP to grow for as long as possible, is there anything I can do to preserve it other than keep delaying all TSP withdrawals until age…

Q. I am 56 years old and just found out that I should be in CSRS Offset, not FERS.  I’ve paid into my Thrift Savings Plan for more than 10 years. How does this affect my TSP contribution? A. If you are erroneously covered by FERS and you choose to move out of FERS, the Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Correction Act allows you to keep the employee contributions you made in your TSP account (plus the earnings attributable to your contributions) even if the contributions exceed 5 percent of the basic pay you earned for the pay period that contributions had…

Q. I realize that the withdrawal of Roth earnings have different implications. But if I understand this correctly, the withdrawal of Roth IRA contributions can be done at any time without triggering a taxable event or penalty. Is the same true for the withdrawal of contributions from the Roth TSP? A. You may withdraw Roth funds without tax or penalty if you’ve had a Roth IRA for at least five years (starting from Jan. 1 of the year you first contributed to a Roth IRA) and you are at least age 59½. The same rule applies to your Roth TSP…

Q. I have eight years and nine months of government service and had my entire Thrift Savings Plan contribution in the G Fund until about two weeks ago. I had around $50,000, and I moved that $50,000 into 40 percent C Fund, 40 percent S Fund and 20 percent I Fund, and moved my contribution from 100 percent G Fund to 50 percent S and 50 percent I. I am 34 and have probably 25 to 30 years of service left. How would you rate my contribution move? A. To rate it, I’d have to clearly understand your goals for the money…

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