Author Topic: TSP and 401k  (Read 1985 times)

bear88

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TSP and 401k
« on: October 14, 2015, 01:52:21 PM »
This is a pretty simple question but I am not sure of the answer! As an army reservist I am eligible to contribute to the TSP. I also just started my first "adult" job and will be eligible to contribute to my employer's 401k in six months. I understand that the maximum contribution for both the TSP and 401k is $18,000.  Is the total amount that I can contribute between the two accounts $18,000? Or is it a combined total of $36,000? There is no way that I could max out the TSP on drill pay, but it could be possible for me to max it out with my employer and save ~$5,000 in the TSP. Thanks for your help.

terran

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Re: TSP and 401k
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2015, 02:11:35 PM »
According to the google the $18k limit is combined for both: http://budgeting.thenest.com/can-401k-tsp-29693.html which is what I would have guessed.

From what I hear the TSP is pretty awesome, so I would contribute to the 401k up to any employer match, then the TSP as much as you can by deferring as much of your reservist income as they'll let you, then go back to contributing to the 401k.

With that extra $5k (or the limit of $5.5k) you could contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA depending on your eligibility: https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/2015-IRA-Deduction-Limits-Effect-of-Modified-AGI-on-Deduction-if-You-Are-Covered-by-a-Retirement-Plan-at-Work

You'd have to confirm this, but I think I've seen that you can roll 401k's into the TSP, so my plan would be to roll over your 401k whenever you change jobs into the TSP instead of into an IRA or new employer's 401k as people usually do.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: TSP and 401k
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2015, 02:16:11 PM »
I don't have an answer to your question but I can confirm that my husband's TSP is outperforming my 401K significantly.

hpb

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Re: TSP and 401k
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2015, 05:49:59 PM »
My agency has a 401k in addition to the TSP and I can confirm that you can only put $18k combined into them.

bear88

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Re: TSP and 401k
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2015, 02:38:30 PM »

From what I hear the TSP is pretty awesome, so I would contribute to the 401k up to any employer match, then the TSP as much as you can by deferring as much of your reservist income as they'll let you, then go back to contributing to the 401k.

With that extra $5k (or the limit of $5.5k) you could contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA depending on your eligibility: https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/2015-IRA-Deduction-Limits-Effect-of-Modified-AGI-on-Deduction-if-You-Are-Covered-by-a-Retirement-Plan-at-Work


Thanks for your help all. What is outlined above is exactly what I plan to do. I'll just have to watch closely to make sure that they don't go over $18,000 combined. I already have a ROTH IRA that I have been maxing for the past few years. It probably would have been better if I was contributing to the TSP instead of the IRA, but I was using drill pay to help defray costs while in grad school.