New Book on CSRS Voluntary Contributions Program:

The Best Kept Secret in CSRS

CSRS and CSRS Offset Federal Employees have a unique benefit called the CSRS Voluntary Contributions Program. The big deal with the CSRS VCP is that you can use it to max-fund a Roth IRA. But not very many people have heard of it.

csrs voluntary contributions book

I get so many questions about the Voluntary Contributions program that I’ve written a book about it, “The Best Kept Secret in CSRS: How You Can Use the CSRS Voluntary Contributions Program to Put Away Money for Retirement”

In the book, I cover everything you need to know about the CSRS Voluntary Contributions program. And I give you step-by-step instructions how to transfer money from the VCP to an IRA.

What Tammy Flanagan Says about "The Best Kept Secret in CSRS"

Tammy Flanagan, Senior Benefits Director of the National Institute of Transition Planning, Inc., was kind enough to write the foreword to The Best Kept Secret in CSRS.  

Here's what Tammy had to say...

Foreword:  From Tammy Flanagan… 

Micah Shilanski is the best person I can think of to write about the voluntary contributions program.  Micah has a heart for the federal employee and is truly committed to helping employees prepare for a financially secure future.  Micah is an accomplished financial advisor who takes advantage of modern technology in his practice and strives to provide clear information to help his clients take charge of their future.  This publication is a further example of how Micah took the time to thoroughly analyze the benefits of the voluntary contributions program for federal employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System and lay out the details of this program in a way that anyone can understand. 

Why write a book that only 10% of the current federal workforce will need?  It was a good idea because if you are one of the remaining employees covered by the CSRS, then you need this information.   Micah saw a need and he filled it when he put together the first edition of “The Best Kept Secret in CSRS.”  Now, Micah has expanded and improved his first edition to share his experience with other federal employees, like you, who have learned of the advantages of participation in this unique investment opportunity. 

Although the Office of Personnel Management provides information about this program at www.opm.gov, you will not find information there about using this program as a financial planning tool to help you achieve your retirement goals.  Micah will walk you through the mechanics of getting your money into and out of the voluntary contributions program so that you will be able to use these funds in ways that you were not aware were possible. 

I met Micah several years ago when I came to Anchorage to present a retirement class to federal employees working in Alaska.  I asked Micah to help me explain the transition from COLA to Locality pay which was something new for the employees of Alaska and was a topic that I had very little experience.  He was not only willing to help, but he did a fabulous job.  Having worked with Micah - and I even had the privilege of meeting his beautiful wife, Kelly and his adorable children - I can highly recommend this publication.  If you are covered under the Civil Service Retirement System (or CSRS Offset), this book is worth your time to read so that you will be able to use the voluntary contributions program to supplement your retirement savings.


Tammy Flanagan
Senior Benefits Director
National Institute of Transition Planning, Inc.
Author of the weekly Retirement Planning column at www.govexec.com


Table of Contents for The Best Kept Secret in CSRS

Here’s a list of exactly what’s covered in the book:

Chapter 1: Understanding the CSRS Voluntary Contributions Program (VCP)

  • VCP Basics
  • Who Qualifies for the VCP?
  • What if My HR Says I Can’t Do a VCP?
  • How Much Money Can I Put in the VCP?
  • How Do I Find Out How Much I Can Put in the VCP?
  • Do You Really Need to Know the Exact Limit?
  • What If I Contribute More Than My Limit?
  • Should I Contribute More Than 10% On Purpose?
  • How Do I Make a Contribution to My VCP?
  • What Can I Do With the Money in My VCP?
  • Buying the VCP Annuity
  • No COLA on VCP Annuity
  • VCP Annuity Partially Taxable
  • VCP Survivor Benefits are Different
  • Alternative Annuity Options
  • Withdraw or Transfer Your Money
  • Take Action Before Retirement
  • Tax Considerations
  • Where Can I Transfer My VCP?
  • Which Transfer Option is Best?
  • Summary of VCP Highlights

Chapter 2: Understanding IRAs and Roth IRAs

  • IRA Basics & Important Tax Terms
  • Traditional IRA Basics
  • Roth IRA Basics
  • Key Differences: Traditional vs. Roth IRAs
  • Which is Better, Traditional IRAs or Roth IRAs?
  • Where Do You Think Taxes Are Going in the Future?
  • What if I Make ‘Too Much Money’ for a Roth?
  • One More Word About Roth IRAs
  • Summary of Traditional & Roth IRA Highlights

Chapter 3: Who, What, When, Where, Why & How of Transferring

  • Who... Who is Involved in Transferring Your VCP?
  • What... What Forms Will I Need?
  • When... When is the Best Time to Transfer Your VCP?
  • Where... Where Can You Transfer Your VCP?
  • Why... Why You Need to Know About “Non-Deductible Contributions”
  • How... How Do I Transfer My VCP?

Chapter 4: Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Your VCP and Transferring it to an IRA

Chapter 5: Common Questions

  • How long does the entire transfer take?
  • Is there a separate beneficiary designation form for the VCP? How do I designate a beneficiary for the VCP if I die before I transfer it?
  • What if they bring back income limits on Roth Conversions? Would it still make sense for me to look into a VCP transfer?
  • Do I have to transfer my VCP to a Traditional IRA, and then convert to a Roth IRA? Or can I convert my VCP directly to a Roth IRA?
  • Can I borrow money to fund my VCP?
  • Is it legal to transfer my VCP to an IRA?
  • I plan to retire with 35 years of service, with all my career step-increases, COLA’s, overtime, and whatever else, how do I find my base pay for each of my 35 years of service?
  • When is the best time to withdraw and transfer my VCP? At retirement, or before I retire?
  • Is there a minimum amount of time that money must stay in the VCP before converting to a Roth?

Chapter 6: Personal Assistance

Appendix A: Sample Forms

Appendix B: Links to Blank Forms Online & Important Publications


If you’re not 100% happy with the book within the first 6 months, I want to give you your money back.

If after you read the book you’re not happy with the book for any reason within the first 6 months after you buy it, I want refund the full amount you paid for the book.

I’m confident that you’ll find it to be a very valuable resource on the CSRS Voluntary Contributions program. And if you don’t - I’ll refund your money. You have nothing to lose.

The ONLY Book to Walk You Through the Entire CSRS Voluntary Contributions Program

This is the most comprehensive book available on the CSRS Voluntary Contributions Program and how to transfer your VCP money to an IRA or Roth IRA.

If you’re thinking about using the VCP, but want to make sure you’re not missing anything - this book is for you.

Lots of CSRS Retirement guides mention the VCP, but none of them go this far in detail about your VCP choices and their consequences.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to help walk you through the process, this is it.

eBook Only $7.97, Available for Instant Download

The Best Kept Secret in CSRS is an eBook; which means as soon as you purchase it, you'll be able to download it instantly.

Our eBook is in a PDF format, so you'll be able to read it on virtually any computer. You can also choose to print it out on your own printer if you would like.

The best part about an eBook - there's no waiting for it to arrive. You can be reading it, and finding answers to your Voluntary Contributions questions within minutes of buying.

Click the link below to purchase for only $7.97... 


Buy Now



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Micah Shilanski is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who specializes in helping federal employees get the most out of their retirement benefits. Micah is a fee-based financial planner and works with a select group of clients. Micah works with each client to tailor a plan that is customized to their dreams, goals, and financial situation. Each client is unique, and so is their plan.

Plan Your Federal Retirement is not employed by the federal government and does not represent the federal government.

Plan Your Federal Retirement is a dba of Shilanski & Associates, Inc. Shilanski & Associates, Inc. is an independent financial planning firm headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, that has been in business for nearly 30 years.

Shilanski & Associates, Inc., is an Alaska Registered Investment Advisor, with securities offered through Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Shilanski & Associates, Inc. is not affiliated with Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

All information herein is solely for informational purposes. This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. The presence of this web site on the Internet shall in no direct or indirect fashion raise any inference or implication that Shilanski and Associates, Inc., an Alaska Registered Investment Adviser, is selling, offering to sell or soliciting to provide investment advisory services to residents of any state other than the state of Alaska.


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