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Key developments in the world of federal employee benefits: health, pay, and much more.

How Phased Retirement Affects Your TSP

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As feds gear up for Nov. 6 – the date retirement-eligible employees can begin submitting their applications for phased retirement – we will to try to periodically address your questions and inform you about how it will affect your pay and benefits.

In that spirit, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has weighed in on how phased retirement affects feds’ Thrift Savings Plan, their 401(k)-style defined contribution accounts. Phased retirees can continue to contribute to the TSP, and the same restrictions regarding loans, financial hardship withdrawals and age-based in-service withdrawals apply. Other important TSP-related items for partial retirees to keep in mind, according to the board:

  • You aren’t eligible for post-employment withdrawals.
  • You will not be subject to required minimum distributions or the withdrawal deadline.
  • All contributions to TSP accounts will be calculated on the basic pay received each pay period and “will not consider the annuity payment from OPM.”

More NASA Employees Unionize

Professional support specialists at the space agency overwhelmingly chose union representation with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers this week. The union, which already represents 200 engineers and scientists at NASA in Washington, gained 320 more employees in the vote. Professional support specialists include budget and policy analysts, administration staff and others.

“We’re thrilled that the professional support specialists at NASA HQ have chosen IFPTE,” said IFPTE Secretary-Treasurer Paul Shearon. “Professional and administrative employees are increasingly seeing the value in collaborating with their colleagues in order to have a greater say in the decision-making process within the workplace, and over their careers.”

(Image via leungchopan/Shutterstock.com)

Kellie Lunney covers federal pay and benefits issues, the budget process and financial management. After starting her career in journalism at Government Executive in 2000, she returned in 2008 after four years at sister publication National Journal writing profiles of influential Washingtonians. In 2006, she received a fellowship at the Ohio State University through the Kiplinger Public Affairs in Journalism program, where she worked on a project that looked at rebuilding affordable housing in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. She has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR and Feature Story News, where she participated in a weekly radio roundtable on the 2008 presidential campaign. In the late 1990s, she worked at the Housing and Urban Development Department as a career employee. She is a graduate of Colgate University.

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