The thrift savings plan, which is very hard to say, is basically the government 401(k). It’s money that the employee contributes some, and there’s an employer match. If you have the first pension, you have a higher employer match. CSRS pension is a lower employer match. A Roth thrift savings plan is just like a Roth IRA. With a Roth TSP, the money you contribute as an employee is after you pay taxes on it. When you retire, and draw the money out, your contributions aren’t taxed. When they come out, the growth on them is taxed. With a regular TSP, you have a tax deduction for your contributions at the time you make them. When you take the money out, all of it is taxed. This is a fairly recent thing. They have them in the military as well. Be careful when you’re dividing, to make sure you’re doing apples and apples, and oranges and oranges, for Roth and non-Roth IRAs and TSPs.
Carolyn Grimes is a family lawyer at the law firm of Wade Grimes Friedman Sutter & Leischner PLLC in Alexandria, Virginia. To learn more about Grimes and her firm, visit www.oldtownlawyers.com.