Military Retirement Planning

The Thrift Savings Plan (“TSP”) is a retirement savings plan for federal employees, and it has been open to military personnel since 2000.


TSP accounts may be accessed from anywhere in the world so long as a service member has internet access and their account number and password. The service member may:

  • make interfund transfers and contribution allocations;
  • request a financial hardship or age-based in-service withdrawal, if eligible;
  • transfer or roll over funds from IRAs and eligible employer plans into the TSP account;
  • and track transactions and investments in the TSP account.

A TSP account may consist of a traditional non-Roth balance, a Roth balance, or both. When both balances are in a service member’s account, any withdrawals will be paid pro rata from each balance. Therefore, the distribution will be paid proportionally from taxable and nontaxable amounts.

The TSP has some tax consequences that are unique to service members. For example, if a service member’s contributions are subject to the combat zone tax exclusion, there are restrictions on the types of retirement plans they can be rolled into. Also, required minimum distributions cannot be transferred to an IRA or eligible employer plan.


Did you  know? Four out of ten people cash out their retirement savings when changing jobs.



Are you a financial services professional assisting our service members with their retirement planning? Contact us today for more information on how to service members of the military, both retired and active duty, the policies and procedures you should have in place, and the disclosures you will need to make.