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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.

Returning to the federal government

If you’ve been rehired by the federal government, there are a few things you need to know.

If you’re a rehired FERS or CSRS employee who’s had a break in service of 31 or more full calendar days, regardless of whether you were enrolled prior to your break, your agency will automatically enroll you in the TSP. If you rejoined federal service on or after October 1, 2020, 5% of your basic salary is deducted from your paycheck each pay period and deposited into your TSP account, unless you elect to contribute immediately upon rehire. If you rejoined federal service between August 1, 2010, and September 30, 2020, you were automatically enrolled at 3%.

You can change or stop your contributions at any time after you are rehired. If you’re a FERS employee, your Agency/Service Automatic (1%) and Agency/Service Matching Contributions (if you are contributing your own money) will also begin immediately.

If you’re a rehired FERS or CSRS employee who’s had a break in service of less than 31 full calendar days and you were previously contributing to the TSP, your employee contributions and your agency contributions (for FERS) will resume upon rehire. If you weren’t contributing previously, you can begin at any time. Visit Start, change, or stop contributions, to learn how.

Uniformed Services

If you’re reentering the uniformed services after a break of more than 30 days and you were a BRS member prior to your break, your service will automatically enroll you in the TSP. If you rejoined the uniformed services on or after October 1, 2020, 5% of your basic pay is deducted from your paycheck each pay period and deposited into your TSP account, unless you elect to contribute immediately upon rehire. If you rejoined the uniformed services between August 1, 2010, and September 30, 2020, you were automatically enrolled at 3%. Your Service Automatic (1%) and, if you are eligible for them, Service Matching Contributions will also begin immediately.

If you’re reentering the uniformed services after a break of more than 30 days and you were not a BRS member prior to your break, you will not be automatically enrolled. You can start a TSP account or resume contributing to your existing TSP account at any time after you are rehired. To learn how, visit Start, change, or stop contributions.

If you’re reentering the uniformed services after a break of 30 days or less and you were making TSP contributions when your break in service occurred, those contributions will resume whether or not you are a BRS member. Service Automatic (1%) and Matching Contributions will also resume for BRS members.

Automatic Enrollment Refund Requests

The employee contributions you make under the automatic enrollment program may be refunded to you during the first 90 days of the enrollment period under certain circumstances.

If you’re a FERS, CSRS, or BRS participant who was rehired after a break in service of 31 or more full calendar days, your eligibility for a refund of your contributions depends on whether or not your previous refund period had expired and the length of time since your last automatic enrollment contribution.

If the refund deadline from your prior automatic enrollment period has expired, you won’t be eligible to request a refund of your automatic enrollment contributions until one full calendar year (January to December) has passed since your last automatic enrollment contribution. If one full calendar year has passed, you’ll be issued a new refund deadline date.

If the refund deadline from your prior automatic enrollment period has not expired, you’ll have up until that date to request your refund.

BRS members, note that the above rules apply only to members reentering the service. Those who are automatically re-enrolled because they stop contributing to their TSP accounts are not eligible for refunds.

A refund of your automatic employee contributions will not stop your agency from deducting future contributions from your pay each pay period. If you also want to stop your automatic contributions, you must make a contribution election. For more information, visit Start, change, or stop contributions.

Loans

If you had a break in service of less than 31 full calendar days, be sure to let your new agency know if you have any outstanding TSP loans so your payments can resume.

If you’ve missed any loan payments, you’ll have to make up the ones you missed from your own funds. Mail your loan payment directly to us along with Form TSP-26, Loan Payment Coupon.

Withdrawals

If your break in service was less than 31 full calendar days, you’re not eligible to withdraw your TSP account.

If your break in service was 31 or more full calendar days, you were eligible, but not required to withdraw your TSP account. Any withdrawal must have been paid and received while you were still separated from service.

If you began receiving monthly TSP payments after you separated, those payments will stop when you’re rehire. If you are receiving annuity payments, they will continue.