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  • Starting in January 2021, we’re making the process easier for participants. If you’re turning 50 or older and are eligible for catch-up, you’ll no longer need to make separate catch-up elections to your TSP account. To learn how to make these contributions next year, visit Catch-up contributions.

Move money into the TSP

Whether you’re a civilian employee, a member of the uniformed services, or a separated participant, you can move money from other eligible plans to your existing TSP account. However, you cannot open a TSP account by transferring money into it.

Things to know:

We will accept both transfers and rollovers of tax-deferred money from traditional IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, and eligible employer plans such as a 401(k) or 403(b) into the traditional balance of your account.

We will accept only transfers (i.e., direct rollovers) of qualified and non-qualified Roth distributions from Roth 401(k)s, Roth 403(b)s, and Roth 457(b)s into the Roth balance of your account. If you don’t already have a Roth balance in your existing TSP account, the transfer will create one.

We will not accept Roth rollovers that have already been paid to you and will not accept transfers or rollovers from Roth IRAs.

Ways to move money into your TSP account

Transfer money directly into the TSP

A transfer or “direct rollover” occurs when the eligible plan sends all or part of your money to the TSP. Use Form TSP-60, Request for a Transfer Into the TSP, for tax-deferred amounts. To transfer Roth money, use Form TSP-60-R, Request for a Roth Transfer Into the TSP.

Roll Over Traditional Money into the TSP

A “rollover” is when you receive eligible money directly from your traditional IRA or plan and then you later put it into your TSP account. You cannot roll over Roth money into the TSP and you must complete your rollover within 60 days from the date you receive your funds. Use Form TSP-60, Request for a Transfer Into the TSP, to roll over eligible traditional money.

More to know:

Transfer or rollover money does not count towards the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) contribution limits, and your eligible transfer and rollover will be invested according to your contribution allocation on file.

Tax Considerations

Tax rules differ depending upon which method you choose to move your IRA or eligible plan money into the TSP.

Transfers

You don’t have to pay taxes on the money you transfer in immediately. However, depending on the type of money you transfer, you may have to pay income taxes when you start taking withdrawals from your TSP account. For more information, read Important Tax Information About Payments From Your TSP Account.

Rollovers

If you roll over eligible money, you will have 60 days from the date you receive the funds to complete the transaction.

You may roll over all or part of the money you receive. Your traditional IRA or former plan should withhold the appropriate amount for taxes before it sends the money to you. Otherwise, if you roll over your entire balance, you’ll have to make up the difference (i.e., the amount withheld for taxes) from your own funds. Any amount that you do not roll over may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% early withdrawal penalty tax.