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TSP question
Old 02-23-2009, 11:53 AM   #1
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TSP question

We just got DH's annual TSP statement, and it shows that we contributed $14,885, rather than the $15,500 that I know went in there (we got a few hundred dollars kicked back because we were over the limit).

The "Annual Contribution Summary (Does not include adjustments)" says $14,885, and so does the "Annual Contribution Limits." So it seems we are maxing it out. But why aren't both those numbers $15,500?
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:59 AM   #2
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Good question. I need to go check my annual statement. I didn't know they were out yet!
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:10 PM   #3
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OK, I just checked my statement. Mine only shows $15.045.00 contributed for '08. I was eligible to contribute $20,500 because I can do catch-up contributions. However, I temporarily had to suspend for a few pay periods. So...I didn't get to the max for 08. My investment losses for '08 in the TSP totaled -22.71%. I know some did worse....
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:12 PM   #4
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For some reason the Annual Contribution Summary and Annual Contribution Limits are the same on my statement as well. I retired in March 2008 but was able to essentially max out my TSP for the year and mine shows the same number in both tables ($20,486 which was my actual contributon). The Annual Contribution Limits is incorrect on mine since it should show $20,500 (15,500 + 5,000 catch-up). Not sure why your actual contributions would not be correct unless it relates to a pay period calendar issue (2008 tax year).
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:44 PM   #5
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As Lakewood said: Timing of the over contribution and Statement? Or was there a $15 charge for the over contribution?
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OAG View Post
As Lakewood said: Timing of the over contribution and Statement? Or was there a $15 charge for the over contribution?

LOL, yeah, that's probaby it! Figures.
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:10 PM   #7
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I'm eligible to retire 18 January 2013. I've always sworn I'd retire that day, not one second later. However, now I'm thinking it would be smarter to stay until I can max the TSP contributions for that year. Might take just a hair past the original date, but not much. Yeah, that's the ticket!
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:22 PM   #8
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Well, the other funny thing is that in 2007 (the first year we contributed) we started withholding money in Feb, which then got deposited 1 Mar. Then in Dec, there were 2 deposits - the 1st and the 31st. I assumed this was so that we could still have Dec's witholding deposited in 2007.

But then that meant that in Jan 08 there was no deposit - nothing till Jan's witholding hit in Feb. But the fourth quarter 08 statement shows only 1 deposit in Dec, which means we actually didn't quite max it out for the year. That's kind of annoying.

Just thought to go look at recent transactions - Jan 09 the "missing" amount was deposited - $644. And starting this month it's back to the normal % deposit.

So I guess it is a timing thing. But now I'll have to go in and increase the % witheld, I guess, because with Jan at only $644 that will leave us short at the end of the year again....
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:17 PM   #9
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I guess you know you don't have to contribute a %, you can do a specific dollar amount. That will make it easier to calculate how much to hold out in order to reach the max for the year, if that's your goal. I'm not one of those highly paid employees, and I only was able to start maxing in 2007, then missed a couple months in 2008. I'm on track to max this year, and will from here on out, but it's a real stretch on my salary. Wife's not working now, so we really have to budget more than we were used to. I set my TSP contributions to $865 per pay period, which will give me the max, including my catch-up contributions. I'm CSRS, so I don't get any matching money. However, I wouldn't trade my pension for the match! 3 yrs, 10 months to go...yeeeha!!!
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:06 PM   #10
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Actually, no, I thought it had to be a %. Do military have that option also or just civilians? I looked on the MyPay website but I can't see any option for $ amounts. That would be easier!
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:17 PM   #11
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hmmmm...I'm not sure. I'm an AF reservist, as well as a civilian employee. I do have a TSP on the military side, but since I'm maxing my civilian TSP, I can't contribute anymore to the military one (IRS limits). It's been a good while since I started the military TSP, and I honestly don't remember how to make the adjustments. With my civilian once, I use a system called EBIS. I haven't messed with the military one in so long, I've forgotten. I don't have much in that one, and what I have is about half of what I had! The military TSP might not give you the $$ amount option. I'll do some digging & see what I can find!
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:21 PM   #12
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OK, looks like contrbution election amounts are done directly on the MyPay site for military TSP. I don't see any provision for electing a dollar amount, so I guess you're stuck with the percentages. Sorry...
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Old 02-23-2009, 04:29 PM   #13
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Oh well... Thanks for looking! Maybe eventually they'll add that option. It would certainly be less confusing than the % of base pay system.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:01 AM   #14
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Thanks for serving our country. I was active duty Air Force '77-'81, and AF Reserves since then. I'll probably go ahead & retire after I get to 32 yrs, which occurs this summer. Or...maybe not! My field has always been weapons, armament, ammo related. Now, I'm an Ammo Quality Assurance Specialist with Defense Contract Management Agency. Pretty good gig, if one must w*%k! I was an Air Reserve Technician for 27 years too. So, altogether, when I reach retirement age, that'll be 36 years.
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:07 PM   #15
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The Technician program was sweet. I was an Army National Guard technician for 10 years until the increased deployment schedule forced me to reexamine my career choice. Once I started a family I decided I needed to leave the program.

You get to work on gov't pension, military pension, SS, and TSP all at once. I miss it, but know I couldn't stomach the 18 month deployments with a young kid at home.
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:14 PM   #16
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I don't know if this is the answer or not...but as a reminder, TSP plan is not totally cost free to participants.

TSP: Civilian Features chapter 5, Understanding Your TSP Account; 2008 Sep 18

http://www.tsp.gov/rates/tsp-expense-ratio.pdf
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:23 PM   #17
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Since I'm under CSRS, I haven't paid into SS in quite some time. Well....at least not from my civilian pay. I do have SS witheld from my reserve pay, but it's not enough to meet the minimum qualifications for "substantial earnings", therefore, I get no credit for paying that money in to SS. As a teenager prior to joing the AF, and then during my 4.5 yrs active duty, plus for a very short time afterwards, I did pay into SS, so I have the basic 40 quarters for minimum qualification. When I'm 62, I'll be able to draw maybe $250-$300 SS. Not much, but better than a kick in the pants. That'll be enough to put some gas in my boat to go fishing. The main thing I'll be looking forward to with regards to the reserves will be the retirement pension. Don't need the Tricare, but could use it I suppose if I wanted to. If we live near a base, we'll use the commissary. But...the pension is the biggie as far as I'm concerned. We'll be OK with the CS pension, TSP & IRAs, but the military pension at age 60 will be the icing on the cake for us. At that point, my wife will be OK no matter what happens to me due to the dual survivor benefits of the 2 pensions and we'll have all the income we need to live pretty well and money for the extras like travel etc. As much as I cussed having to give up a weekend every month for 32 years, now that I'm near the end, I'm really glad I hung in there. For now, while I'm still participating, I get $600 for the weekend drill (UTA) every month and now with my new unit, I get a free plane ride (C-130) back to my home state once a month & usually get to go visit my mom, sisters, daughter, grandaughter, best bud etc. It's only 1 hr 15 mins. from the base to my hometown! The flight from Milwaukee to Fayetteville, NC on a C-130 isn't exactly luxurious, since I'm sitting in a web seat & jammed in with a bunch of other yo-yo's, but again...it's free!
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:31 PM   #18
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Geez, that brings back memories. The time I flew in a C-130 into Fayetteville it was raining REAL HARD, really windy. The LTC flying the plane came back and announced that "if you never puked on a plane ride before, you will now!"

A couple people hurled while we were still on the ground. The dang C-130 has to be the slowest airplane I've ever been on.

I was making close to $800 a drill and sure do miss the $ as well as the people. Now that I'm retired I only have to wait another 17.5 years to collect my $600 a month pension... DOOH!
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