Can I Roll My Spouse’s 401(k) Over to the TSP?

My spouse is retiring and has over $300,000 in his 401(k) plan. How would he go about rolling this over to the TSP?

Q.  My spouse is retiring and has over $300,000 in his 401(k) plan. I like the fact that the Thrift Savings Plan has low expenses and would like to have him roll his 401(k) into the TSP. How would he go about this?

A.  He wouldn’t. Though both the Thrift Savings Plan and a 401(k) are employer sponsored plans, the accounts within them are for the benefit of individual employees. Your spouse cannot roll his 401(k) into the TSP any more than you could roll your TSP into his 401(k).

If your spouse likes the offerings in the TSP better than the offerings he will have if he leaves his money in his prior employer’s 401(k), he can set up an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) with a low cost custodian and can select investments similar to those in the TSP for that IRA.

Agencies can request to have John Grobe, or another of Federal Career Experts' qualified instructors, deliver a retirement or transition seminar to their employees. FCE instructors are not financial advisers and will not sell or recommend financial products to class participants. Agency Benefits Officers can contact John Grobe at to discuss schedules and costs.

About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a firm that provides pre-retirement training and seminars to a wide variety of federal agencies. FCE’s instructors are all retired federal retirement specialists who educate class participants on the ins and outs of federal retirement and benefits; there is never an attempt to influence participants to invest a certain way, or to purchase any financial products. John and FCE specialize in retirement for special category employees, such as law enforcement officers.