It’s Easy to transfer/rollover TSP (for Federal Employess) to Solo 401k or Individual 401k

Unfortunately,  it is not always easy to transfer/direct-rollover a former employer TSP (Thrift Savings Plan) to a solo 41k.

However, effective for distributions on or after January 1, 2002, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) allows individuals to transfer/direct rollover TSP funds to a qualified plan such as a solo 401k plan.

Have no fear

We have composed this blog to assist you in effortlessly and easily transferring your TSP, whether pre-tax and/or ROTH funds, to a self-directed Solo 401k with checkbook control so that you can begin investing as soon as the solo 401k has been established.  The solo 401k funds can then be invested in alternative investments such as  real estate, notes, precious metals, private stock, annuities, equities, etc.). In addition, the solo 401k participant can process a solo 401k loan. Click here to learn more about the solo 401k loan rules.

What is a TSP (Thrift Savings Plan)?

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees and members of the uniformed services. The TSP provides the same types of savings and tax benefits to governmental employees that many private corporations offer their employees under, for example, 401(k) plans.


Individuals can roll over eligible distributions of Roth TSP assets to a Roth Solo 401(k), provided  the ROTH funds are separately account for in a Roth Solo 401k bank or brokerage account. To learn more about the Roth Solo 401k click here.

How to process a transfer/direct-rollover of TSP funds a to a Solo 401k or Individual 401k

To initiate a rollover from the TSP, Form TSP-70-T, Thrift Savings Plan Transfer Information, must be filed with the TSP Service Office, and must be completed by the employee and a representative of the organization that will be receiving the direct rollover. In addition, Form TSP-70, Request for Full Withdrawal, or Form TSP-77, Request for Partial Withdrawal When Separated, must be used.   The form’s instructions indicate that the TSP will not accept transfer forms from financial institutions, other than the TSP-70.

Filling out TSP transfer form

  1. Where it asks for “Type of Plan”: Check “Eligible Employer Plan”
  2. Where it asks for “Plan Account Number”, list the solo 401k plan number which is assigned by the solo 401k provider
  3. Where it asks for “Plan Name”, write name of your Solo 401k plan (for example, John Do Solo 401k Trust)
  4. Where it ask “Make check payable”, write name of solo 401k
  5. Where it says “Provide the name and mailing address information…”, list your home or business address since you are the Trustee of the Solo 401k plan.
  6. Under “42 & 43”,  have the solo 401k provider sign and date

TSP Divorce Transfer or Distribution Question

I have a client whose former wife was awarded 50% of his TSP account resulting from divorce.  Even though the wife is under age 59 1/2, can she take her 50% of the TSP balance as distribution and not have to pay the 10% early distribution penalty? 


While the 10% early distribution generally applies to distributions from a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP ) that are processed before the account holder reaches age 59 1/2,  the 10% early distribution penalty does not apply to TSP distributions processed to the alternate payee pursuant to a divorce court order; however, federal taxes and possibly state taxes will apply. Another option is for the alternate payee to transfer the awarded TSP funds tax free and penalty free to a solo 401k plan if she is self-employed and does not employee full-time W-2 employees.   

About Mark Nolan

Each day I speak with energetic entrepreneurs looking to take the plunge into a new venture and small business owners eager to take control of their retirement savings. I am passionate about helping others find their financial independence. Having worked for over 20 years with some of the top retirement account custodian and insurance companies I have a deep and extensive knowledge of the complexities of self-directed 401ks and IRAs as well as retirement plan regulations. Learn more about Mark Nolan and My Solo 401k Financial >>


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