Financial Planning

Survey: TSP remains popular with feds

The latest survey of 5,500 Thrift Savings Plan participants shows that nearly 9 out of ten federal employees said they are happy with it, though satisfaction dipped a bit -- likely because of the fallout from the pandemic.

TSP offers COVID-related loan options

Thrift Savings Plan is now offering temporary loan options for TSP participants affected by COVID-19.

Connelly calls out administration interference in I-fund reversal

The Virginia congressman said concerns about the composition of the investment fund should have been to the Office of Foreign Assets Control, rather than to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

Making room for life insurance amid ever-present uncertainty

Life insurance is one of the most important gifts you can give your loved ones – to protect them from the uncertainties of today and tomorrow.

TSP loans, hardship withdrawals decline despite financial panic

The Federal Retirement Investment Thrift Board reported a decrease in loans and hardship withdrawals by Thrift Savings Plan participants covering the period from January to mid-April.

Congress votes down bill to fire tax-delinquent feds

The House this week rejected legislation that would fire federal employees who are delinquent on federal taxes.

Group to award scholarships to military children, spouses

A group that funds post-secondary scholarships for the children and spouses of military service members has opened applications for more than $1 million in scholarships.

Bill would require agencies to fire tax-delinquent feds

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this week approved legislation under which federal employees who are seriously delinquent on their federal taxes would be subject to firing.

VA announces improved online GI Bill tool

The Department of Veterans Affairs this week rolled out an improved version of the GI Bill Comparison Tool that debuted in February.

Bill would give tax break to feds in combat zones

Proposed legislation would grant federal employees working in combat zones the same tax credit military personnel currently get.

Informed Investor: Gain from sale of residence may be non-reportable and non-taxable

During 2013, residential real estate sales increased significantly across the country. For individuals who sold their principal residences at a gain, there is good news. Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 121 allows qualifying individuals to exclude from income and taxes as much as $500,000 resulting from the sale of their principal residence. This week’s column discusses the prerequisites to use IRC Section 121.

Informed Investor: All interest income must be reported on a tax return

This week’s column discusses how interest income is reported on one’s income tax return. Reportable interest income includes bank and credit union paid interest, interest paid on insurance dividends, interest paid on IRS tax refunds, interest paid on Series EE and I U.S. Savings Bonds, and tax-exempt interest income such as municipal bond interest.

Informed Investor: Protect your tax Identity

Recent data breaches at Target stores and an increase in the number of tax identity thefts should alert all individuals about the problem of identity theft. This week’s column discusses what to do to prevent identity theft, and the steps one should take if one has become a victim of tax identity theft.

IRS execs incorrectly classified own travel expenses

Some IRS executives apparently could do a better job of understanding some of the tax rules that apply to them.

Special Feature: Informed Investor celebrates 500th column

This week, FEND published the 500th installment of Edward A. Zurndorfer's Informed Investor column. Since 2004, Informed Investor has been educating FEND readers on a wide range of subjects related to federal employee benefits and financial planning. On this anniversary, we took the opportunity to ask Ed some questions about himself and about the changes he's observed in the federal workplace over the past 10 years.

Informed Investor: Now is a good time to make deductible traditional IRA contributions

Employees born after June 30, 1943, are eligible to contribute to a traditional IRA for 2013. This week’s column discusses who is eligible to contribute to a deductible traditional IRA for 2013, traditional IRA contribution limits, how much of the contribution is tax deductible, and the deadline for contributing.

Informed Investor: Year end is deadline for non-spousal beneficiaries to receive minimum required distributions

Employees who are the non-spousal beneficiaries of inherited IRAs should be aware of the minimum required distribution (MRD) rules for inherited IRAs. This week’s column discusses MRD rules for inherited IRAs, with an emphasis of the Dec. 31, 2013, deadline for non-spousal IRA beneficiaries whose original IRA owners died before Jan. 1, 2013.