MichDad wrote:wfromm wrote:I like the low fees and fund choices of the TSP, but I dislike the inability to Roth convert. Maybe this will change in time.
I agree with you that the inability to convert regular TSP assets to Roth TSP assets is a significant drawback of the TSP. Unfortunately, unless TSP participants make their opinions known to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, this issue is unlikely to be addressed in the next few years. In the meantime, there appears to be a cumbersome workaround. Please refer to messages posted by TimeRunner and me, above. Unfortunately, even the workaround is not perfect. It requires that some TSP assets be placed into more expensive funds outside of the TSP, such as at Vanguard. Also, IRA assets often have fewer legal protections than TSP (and 401(k)) assets. Finally, the workaround still leaves some Roth assets in the TSP, perhaps as little as a few dollars, though.
I agree with everything you said. The TSP is a 401K with great fees, mediocre fund selection and rebalancing rules and terrible withdrawal requirements. Adding the Roth TSP into the mix made those shortcomings even more frustrating. They wonder why people leave the TSP in droves once they retire? It seems they are out of touch and know little about the industry if that is occurring (and it is). I have written countless letters addressing these issues and have gotten zero response. It's obvious to me that they rule the TSP like they want it run not how the participants want it run. Look how long it took to get the Roth portion of it going. Years and mutual fund families had things up and running in a matter of days/months once the legislation was passed.
Your workaround as described in another post is a good one, IMHO. I plan to do it once retired. It's a shame, I would be very willing to keep my money in the TSP once retired if they would allow TSP conversions to the Roth and open up those withdrawal rules within the plan.