More than 50,000 choose Thrift Saving Plan’s new Roth option

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An increasing number of Thrift Savings Plan participants are choosing the new Roth option, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board announced Monday.

As of Sept. 30, a total of 51,354 federal employees had invested about $48.7 million into Roth, said the board’s director of external affairs, Kim Weaver.

The number is in keeping with the steady increase officials projected: At the end of August, about 20,000 federal employees had invested about $13 million in the Roth plan.

The TSP Roth option, unveiled in May, allows beneficiaries to invest money that already has been taxed and cannot be taxed again upon withdrawal, unlike traditional TSP investments. With Roth’s addition, participants now can invest pretax or after-tax dollars in any of TSP’s offerings as long as their total contributions are within Internal Revenue Service’s limits.

Board members also announced Monday that the Defense Financial Accounting Service went live on Oct. 1 with its Roth enrollment options for civilian and Defense Department employees and service members. DFAS’ payroll systems serve 1.2 million of the 2.1 million executive branch federal employees, not counting postal service workers, but the DFAS was not able to enroll its beneficiaries in the Roth option during the official rollout in May, due to discrepancies between Army, Navy and Air Force payroll structures.

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