Federal Clerkships and 401k

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brohaters1
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Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby brohaters1 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:57 pm

Do federal clerks have access to 401ks? If so, is there a cap on the maximum they can contribute? I am trying to budget for the coming year and still haven't received any papers (other than those than I needed to sign) as to the job.

Edit: It looks like we do have access. Anyone have any idea what the 5 funds are which we have access to?

http://www.uscourts.gov/Careers/BeneFitForLife.aspx

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:33 pm

Sorry to say that I didn't get access to a 401K - just health, vision, dental, and life insurance (which is plenty, of course). My clerkship was only 1 year - if you're doing 2 years it might be different, but I think generally temporary employees don't get retirement stuff.

lukertin
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby lukertin » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:35 pm

You should have access to the TSP, which is the FedGov equivalent of a 401k. The TSP is far superior to any 401k. If you do contribute to the TSP, never roll it over into another investment account. Just don't do it if you value your money.

The TSP funds are:

L fund: S&P 500 index fund
S fund: Wilshire 4500 index fund
F fund: AGG bond index fund
G fund: treasury fund guaranteed by the US government (cannot depreciate in value)
I fund: Morgan Stanley Europe, Far East and Australia International Index (doesn't include China, lololololol)

You should contribute the maximum to the TSP because you will never encounter a better retirement savings account for the rest of your life.

GertrudePerkins
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby GertrudePerkins » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:42 pm

lukertin wrote:You should have access to the TSP, which is the FedGov equivalent of a 401k. The TSP is far superior to any 401k. If you do contribute to the TSP, never roll it over into another investment account. Just don't do it if you value your money.

The TSP funds are:

L fund: S&P 500 index fund
S fund: Wilshire 4500 index fund
F fund: AGG bond index fund
G fund: treasury fund guaranteed by the US government (cannot depreciate in value)
I fund: Morgan Stanley Europe, Far East and Australia International Index (doesn't include China, lololololol)
Sadly, term clerks are not eligible to participate in TSP. See benefits info here ("Term law clerks are not eligible to participate in the federal employee retirement systems or the Thrift Savings Plan (unless they are appointed without a break in service from another federal position in which they were eligible for benefits).").

lukertin
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby lukertin » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:45 pm

Well that sucks. Better open that Roth IRA.

Anonymous User
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:10 pm

I remember when I started my clerkship, looking at the TSP and going "wow, this is great!"... and then getting to the part that said I couldn't participate. :(

brohaters1
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby brohaters1 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:17 am

So we've established 1 year clerks are not eligible. Are 2 year clerks eligible?

Edit: Doesn't look like they are eligible either.

Law Clerk (Chambers)

Benefits depend upon type of appointment:

Term Appointment
Term appointments are the most common. Term federal judicial law clerks serve on an appointment limited to a total of four years (accounting for all term law clerk service completed on or after September 18, 2007), but are generally one or two years in duration. Some judges appoint term law clerks for eighteen months. The OSCAR system lists the length of the term for a position in the "term dates" field within the position announcement. Term appointment law clerks are covered by Social Security and are eligible for health, dental, vision and life insurance coverage, and participation in judiciary supplemental benefits programs. If, however, the expiration date of the appointment does not extend to the end of the calendar year, and the law clerk has fewer than four years of service with the federal judiciary, he/she is not eligible to enroll in the Heath Care Reimbursement Account during the last year of the appointment. Term law clerks are not eligible to participate in the federal employee retirement systems or the Thrift Savings Plan (unless they are appointed without a break in service from another federal position in which they were eligible for benefits).
Last edited by brohaters1 on Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

brohaters1
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby brohaters1 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:20 am

lukertin wrote:You should have access to the TSP, which is the FedGov equivalent of a 401k. The TSP is far superior to any 401k. If you do contribute to the TSP, never roll it over into another investment account. Just don't do it if you value your money.

The TSP funds are:

L fund: S&P 500 index fund
S fund: Wilshire 4500 index fund
F fund: AGG bond index fund
G fund: treasury fund guaranteed by the US government (cannot depreciate in value)
I fund: Morgan Stanley Europe, Far East and Australia International Index (doesn't include China, lololololol)

You should contribute the maximum to the TSP because you will never encounter a better retirement savings account for the rest of your life.



What is so superior about the TSP to the traditional 401k? It looks like they only match up to 4% salary. I know a lot of 401k programs that match up to the max (17k). Is there something I'm missing?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:23 am

brohaters1 wrote:So we've established 1 year clerks are not eligible. Are 2 year clerks eligible?

According to GertrudePerkins' link, no - a two-year clerk is still a term clerk, just for 2 years instead of 1 (I wasn't sure because I was just going off my own experience).

lukertin
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby lukertin » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:39 am

brohaters1 wrote:What is so superior about the TSP to the traditional 401k? It looks like they only match up to 4% salary. I know a lot of 401k programs that match up to the max (17k).

They match up to 5% and no, most 401k programs do not match up to the max. Very few do.

Is there something I'm missing?

Do you know what expense ratios are?

brohaters1
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby brohaters1 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:05 am

lukertin wrote:
brohaters1 wrote:What is so superior about the TSP to the traditional 401k? It looks like they only match up to 4% salary. I know a lot of 401k programs that match up to the max (17k).

They match up to 5% and no, most 401k programs do not match up to the max. Very few do.

Is there something I'm missing?

Do you know what expense ratios are?


Just off the top of my head, doctors at hospitals usually get matched to the max. Almost all professional athletes get matched to the max. Most corporations that make a concerted effort to treat employees well do better. For example, I think Google matches something of like up to 8000+. I'm not saying its crap, but its not like the best 401k I've ever seen. Not even close. For example a random google search showed this:

http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/ ... 2011/?_r=0

It is comfortably above average, but you implied it is the best ever. I was just looking for clarification as I really did think I was missing something, no need to get defensive. I would definitely be thrilled to have this option.

Valid point as to expense ratios, I didn't realize they were so low (I typically just assume if it isn't Vanguard it isn't real good). But 5 funds is a little bit limited, although they seem to be decent funds to build a 401k around if you are only going to have 5.

Anonymous User
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:18 am

To any degree there's still a question about benefits for 2 year clerkships, I can confirm from personal experience that we're not eligible for retirement/TSP.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:33 am

I think the point was that TSP is so great compared to other options for lawyers, not all professions.

Anonymous User
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Re: Federal Clerkships and 401k

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:34 pm

I am doing a 2 year federal district court clerkship and I was not offered a 401k option.




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