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  • Bi-monthly 401k deductions

    Hello all,

    My new TSP withdrawals kicked in this month. I have been out of the mutual fund game since 2015. I can see that my mid-month pay is a lot lower from the deposit in my checking account. Then I log on to the TSP and I don't see that the money went there yet! What gives?

    Is there normally a delay associated with this? I didn't know that TSP contributions are taken out twice per month out of your paycheck. I am funding 50% traditional / 50% Roth, about $5K per month for the last 3 months of the year.

  • #2
    How did you think it was funded? I'm not sure about a delay, don't have the TSP but likely that is it.

    Are you planning to have a pension?

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    • #3
      Well.. my mid-month pay was nearly half of what its been without contributions. I have about 75% of base pay going to fund the TSP. I saw the direct deposit in my checking account kind of early (today the 12th).. but I am not sure what the delay typically would be when you check TSP balance after mid-month.

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      • #4
        It would be very rare to see 401k contributions on the same day as the payroll deposit. First, many financial institutions actually show the deposit one day before the pay date.

        IRS rules state that employee deferrals should be sent as soon as administratively feasible. The DOL gives a safe harbor of 7 days.

        I don't know what the typical TSP delay is, but I would think it is likely next week sometime.

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        • #5
          When I worked for the DoD it looked like they took your monthly pay, took out all deductions, allocations, etc, and divided what was left in half and payed it out Bimonthly. I'm pretty sure TSP contributions always happened at the beginning of the month. So, probably nothing to worry about. The Gov't moves slow.

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          • #6
            Nutty08 is correct about how the bi-monthly pay works. At least usually. Our pay has always been equal for both paychecks during the month, with the only exception being raises. These are a bit wonky, as they have always applied the entire back-paid raise (because it always takes at least a couple of months for everything to be approved) to one paycheck, and then the second paycheck for that month is drastically lower (which has to do with the way different types of pay are categorized). This could be a reason you are seeing the huge dip for mid-month pay. As for the TSP, ours is always taken out in the full amount for the month at the beginning, and we see the money actually in our TSP account on the next business day of the month, typically the 2nd, but has been as late as the 5th or 6th due to weekends or national holidays.

            So if you didn't get a raise or any additional pay in the last couple of months, and are still interested in figuring out what the heck is going on, you can look at your Leave Earnings Statement, which should have a breakdown of each paycheck you receive during the month including all deductions. Failing that, you can call the finance office and ask them to spill the beans.

            And as always with the government...ymmv

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            • #7
              All I know is that it takes forever, usually more than a week, for my wife's biweekly contribution to show up in her account.

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              • #8
                Thanks guys. In other words, i shouldn't expect the TSP to show this money taken out of my paycheck until a week from now, or potentially the end of the month? Because I suspect an equal amount may be deducted from the end of month pay as well.

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                • #9
                  Queue, well thats interesting. They owe me amount 4 months of back pay in bonuses, which I am expecting to see the end of this month. That amounts to around $20,000. Hopefully that and the new bi-monthly TSP deduction doesn't confuse them further than they probably are!

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                  • #10
                    That's the way it's been for us. Now we've only had 2 raises, one due to her moving up to resident, then again for transitioning to being a flight doc, so those amounts might make the process a little different. We're due a couple of thousand, but nothing like the 20k for you. I ended up calling the finance office for an explanation, which they were happy to do, but it surprised me how convoluted the system is. But with all those checks going out every month, I have some sympathy for those on the front lines manning the phones.

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