If you have an existing TSP account from your own employment with the Federal Government or the uniformed services, you can move your beneficiary participant account into your existing TSP account by completing Form TSP-90, Withdrawal Request for Beneficiary Participants. The money that you move will be treated as an employee contribution, but it will not be subject to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) annual elective deferral limit. (See the instructions on Form TSP-90 for more information on combining accounts.)
In general, once you combine your beneficiary participant account with your existing TSP account, your beneficiary participant account money will be subject to the rules that govern the account to which it was moved.
If your existing TSP account and your beneficiary participant TSP account contain Roth contributions, the Roth Initiation Date that will apply to your combined account is the earlier of the two. If only one of the accounts contains Roth money, the Roth Initiation Date associated with that account becomes the date for your combined account.
If you have Roth money in your beneficiary participant account, the earnings on that money qualify to be paid tax-free if 5 years have passed since January 1 of the calendar year when the first Roth contribution was made. But once you move your beneficiary participant account to your own account, the following rule also applies in order for your Roth earnings to qualify for tax-free withdrawal: You must be 59½, permanently disabled, or deceased.
If your beneficiary participant account resulted from a uniformed services TSP account, there may be tax-exempt money in it as a result of contributions from combat pay. If so, those funds cannot be transferred into a civilian TSP account. In this case, the tax-exempt funds will be distributed directly to you. If you are not sure whether your beneficiary participant account contains tax-exempt money, you can check your quarterly or annual statement.
Note: You cannot move an existing TSP account into your beneficiary participant account. And if you have more than one beneficiary participant account, you cannot combine them. Also, if you have an IRA or other retirement plan, you will not be able to transfer or roll over those funds into your beneficiary participant account.