With the introduction of Roth, you will potentially have two types of balances in your TSP account: A traditional (non-Roth) TSP balance and a Roth TSP balance. Any agency contributions you receive will always be a part of your traditional (non-Roth) balance. However, you may designate your own contributions any way you like depending on your individual tax circumstances. (Note: Money already in your account when you begin making Roth contributions will remain part of your traditional balance. You will not be able to convert it to Roth.)
The table below compares the treatment of the two different types of contributions.
|The Treatment of…
|Taxes are deferred, so less money is taken out of your paycheck.
|Taxes are paid up front, so more money comes out of your paycheck.
|Transfers allowed from eligible employer plans and traditional IRAs
|Transfers allowed from Roth 401(k)s, Roth 403(b)s, and Roth 457(b)s
|Transfers allowed to eligible employer plans, traditional IRAs, and Roth IRAs2
|Transfers allowed to Roth 401(k)s, Roth 403(b)s, Roth 457(b)s, and Roth IRAs3
|Taxable when withdrawn
|Tax-free earnings if five years have passed since January 1 of the year you made your first Roth contribution, AND you are age 59½ or older, permanently disabled, or deceased
As we get closer to the date when you can start making Roth contributions, you may want to start thinking about whether making them could be to your advantage. You may also wish to consult a qualified financial or tax advisor.