What Does It Mean To Be "Vested" in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)?
Vesting means that you have met the service requirements that
entitle you to keep the agency automatic (1%) contributions and their earnings
when you leave federal service. Vesting does not apply to any other types
- FERS and CSRS participants are always vested in their own contributions and
the earnings on their contributions.
- FERS participants are always vested in the matching contributions their
agencies make, as well as the earnings on the matching contributions.
Most FERS employees become vested in their agency automatic (1%)
contributions after completing 3 years of federal civilian service. FERS
employees in congressional and certain noncareer positions become vested in
their agency Automatic (1%) contributions after completing 2 years of civilian
All federal civilian service counts toward vesting in your TSP account -- not
just your service while you are a TSP participant. Service covered by
USERRA also counts toward vesting. If you are a FERS participant, your
agency reports your TSP Service Computation Date (TSP-SCD), which is used by the
TSP record keeper to determine whether you are vested. Your TSP-SCD is
shown on your participant statement; if you believe it is incorrect or have
questions about it, contact your personnel office. (Your TSP-SCD will never be
earlier than January 1, 1984.)
If you leave federal service before satisfying the vesting requirement for
your agency automatic (1%) contributions, those contributions and the earnings
on them will be forfeited to the TSP.
If you die before separating from service, you will automatically be
considered vested in your TSP account.