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Understanding Your Thrift Savings Plan

What is the Thrift Savings Plan? Where can you learn more about your retirement options? Read this article to learn more about your civilian Federal retirement plan.

What is the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)?

The TSP is a retirement savings plan (similar to a 401K) for civilian Federal government employees. Your TSP account is administered by an independent agency called the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. This is a defined contribution plan. This means that your retirement account depends on how much you and your agency put into the account. Under this plan, you are allowed to make both Traditional (pre-tax) and Roth (after-tax) contributions.

Traditional (pre-tax) Contributions

The Traditional TSP allows you to defer paying taxes on your contributions and their earnings until you withdraw them. Contributions are deducted from your paycheck before your pay is taxed.  This effectively lowers your current taxable income and results in a tax break.

Roth (after-tax) Contributions

The Roth TSP allows you to make post-tax contributions. When you withdraw from your Roth TSP account, your contributions or earnings won’t be taxed as long as certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements are met.

Matching Contributions

Did you know, your agency will match up to 5% of your self-elected contributions?  You can choose to put more than 5% of your paycheck into your TSP, but your agency will only match up to 5%. Don’t leave free money on the table!

Where Can I Learn More About Contributing to My TSP?

A great place to learn more about contributions is the “Summary of the Thrift Savings Plan,” available online at www.tsp.gov.

Learn more about different types of contributions, including annual contribution limits.

Learn More!

The TSP offers monthly webinars. Visit this page for upcoming training opportunities and to register.

The TSP is now on YouTube! Check out these videos, including previously recorded webinars, to learn more about your TSP.

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