Benefits are one of the main reasons people choose to start working at USPS. From the 10 paid holidays per year to comprehensive health insurance coverage, this company really takes care of its employees.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at another one of these benefits, the Thrift Savings Plan. This plan, similar to a 401k, helps USPS employees save and plan for retirement, so keep reading to learn more about it!
Does USPS Have 401K in 2023?
USPS does not offer employees a 401k plan but does offer a comparable retirement program called the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) in 2023. All career USPS employees are eligible for the program and are automatically enrolled upon hiring. USPS matches employee contributions up to 3%, then matches $0.50 per dollar over this percentage.
We’ve got a lot more information to share with you about USPS’ retirement savings program, so make sure you keep reading for more useful facts!
Does USPS Have 401k?
USPS does not offer employees a 401k plan but does offer a similar retirement saving plan called the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).
As with a 401k plan, USPS employees contribute to their TSP on a tax-deferred basis and may receive automatic and matching contributions (up to 5%) from the Postal Service.
Another way these plans are similar is that both have the same contribution limits and early withdrawal penalties.
These plans differ when it comes to investment choices, with a TSP offering fewer fund options than a typical 401k.
Who Is Eligible for USPS TSP?
All USPS career employees are eligible to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan.
How Do I Enroll in USPS TSP?
USPS automatically enrolls all eligible new career employees into the TSP at a 3% contribution rate.
Employees can elect to start, stop, or change their contributions at any time.
To submit changes, either call the Human Resources Shared Service Center (HRSSC) at 877-477-3273 and select option 1 or login to the PostalEASE from LiteBlue or Blue.
How Much Does USPS Match on TSP?
USPS matches employee contributions dollar for dollar through the first 3% of basic pay the employee contributes.
Employees are able to contribute up to 5% of their basic pay to TSP, but the Postal Service only matches $0.50 for each percentage contributed over 3%.
Below is a table outlining employee, Postal Service, and total contributions:
|Employee Contributions||USPS Automatic and Matching Contribution
|Over 5%||5%||10% plus employee contributions over 5%|
Note that when making contributions, employees must contribute in whole percentages or whole dollar amounts.
Is USPS TSP Taxed?
Like 401k plans, TSP offers both traditional and Roth versions.
With the traditional plan, the money an employee contributes is tax-deductible and tax-deferred.
That means that while your money is invested, you don’t have to pay taxes on any gains that accumulate (e.g. when a mutual earns dividends).
However, you will pay income tax on the money you withdraw from a regular TSP after age 59 ½.
Roth TSP accounts will not reduce your taxable income. However, your money accumulates on a tax-deferred basis.
Additionally, you can make withdrawals without paying tax or early withdrawal fees as long as you’ve had the account for at least 5 years and are 59 ½ years old or older.
Is TSP Better Than a 401k?
TSPs and 401ks are comparable in a lot of ways, so it’s difficult to say if one is better than the other.
In this section, we’ll outline some of the advantages and disadvantages of a TSP and let readers make up their minds about which savings plan is better.
One major advantage TSP users have over 401k investors is lower fees.
TSP funds have investment and administrative fees around 0.055%, while employees with a 401k may pay up to 0.58%.
That means a typical 401k plan charges participants 10 times what the federal government charges its employees.
In terms of employer contributions and matching, the TSP has a slight advantage over most 401ks.
While the federal government will match up to 4% of an employee’s contributions, most 401ks only match up to 3% of employee contributions.
Perhaps the sole advantage 401k participants have over TSP participants is that they have a wider variety of investment options to choose from (usually a dozen or more).
Options for TSP participants are more streamlined and include several target-date funds and 5 individual index funds.
Where Can I Get Information on USPS TSP?
If you still have questions about the TSP after reading this article, you can head to the TSP’s website at http://www.tsp.gov.
Here you will find general information, forms, and publications.
Additionally, you can call the ThriftLine, TSP’s automated voice response system at 1-TSP-YOU-FRST (1-877-968-3778).
This 24/7 automated voice response system allows participants to get general information about their accounts and retrieve the latest TSP information on rates of return and share prices.
To use the ThriftLine system, participants must have their TSP account number and personal identification number (PIN).
Participants can also call the ThriftLine Monday through Friday 7 AM to 9 PM Eastern Time to speak with a Participant Service Representative (PSR).
USPS may not have a 401k plan, but its Thrift Savings Plan is comparable, if not better than, most retirement savings plans offered by private-sector employers. Not only are the fees low, but the federal government matches contributions up to 5%.