How to Roll a TSP to an IRA

by David Sarokin

A Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a tax-deferred retirement savings account available to federal government employees. It is similar to the 401k plans used by many private sector employees. If you're a federal government employee, and you retire or leave federal service, you can withdraw funds from the TSP and deposit them into an individual retirement account (IRA). Funds that go directly to an IRA are referred to as a transfer. Funds that come to a retiree for redeposit to a IRA are known as a rollover.

Fill out the proper TSP withdrawal form. Use Form TSP-70 to request full withdrawal of your TSP funds or Form TSP-77 to request a partial withdrawal. Members of the military should use forms TSP-U-70 or TSP-U-77. Forms are available at the TSP website or by calling the TSP help desk.

Have withdrawn funds sent to you as a check, or deposited electronically into your bank account. You will then be able to transfer the funds into an IRA.

Check with your IRA plan to identify the forms needed for a rollover deposit of your TSP funds into an IRA. Fill out the appropriate forms and submit them to your IRA along with a deposit of your rollover funds. Federal rules require you to rollover the funds within 60 days in order to retain their tax-deferred status.

Tip

  • Call the TSP help desk at 1-877-968-3778 for any questions about withdrawals and rollovers.

About the Author

David Sarokin is a well-known specialist on Internet research. A former researcher with Google Answers, he has been profiled in the "New York Times," the "Washington Post" and in numerous online publications. Based in Washington D.C., he splits his time between several research services, writing content and his work as an environmental specialist with the federal government.

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