Every member of the military gets a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account, which funds retirement. The fees are generally low, but there are some restrictions on investments. People who work for the U.S. government also get access to the TSP. When you are discharged from the military, you have the option of rolling over your TSP account into a civilian 401k plan.
Go to your employer's human resources office to fill out the application to start your 401k. Find out if your company's plan accepts transfers from TSPs.
Fill out the Form TSP-70 Request for a Full Withdrawal (see Resources). Make sure you fill out the "Transfer Option" portion.
Bring the form to your new employer's HR department and ask a representative to fill out the "VI" section of the form. The person will write in your 401k account number and sign it. The office employees will contact your TSP account to roll over the funds directly into your 401k.
Check after a few weeks to make sure your TSP money has landed in your 401k account.
- 401ks offer multiple investment opportunities, but they usually have higher fees than TSPs.