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STATIC How much can I contribute?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Elective Contributions
  3. Elective Deferral Limits


Each year the IRS determines the maximum amount you can contribute to tax-deferred savings plans like the TSP. This is known as the IRS elective deferral limit. Participants should use this calculator to determine the specific dollar amount to be deducted each pay period in order to maximize your contributions and to ensure that you do not miss out on Agency or Service Matching Contributions if you are entitled to them.

What information do you need to use this calculator?

  • Your most recent Leave and Earnings statement or payslip.
  • The number of salary payments you have left for the year.
Will your turn age 50 or older in year? Your response is required.
  • Participants turning age 50 or older are eligible for catch-up contributions. We'll take that into account when calculating how much you can contribute.

Special Note for FERS and BRS Participants

This calculator is especially important for FERS employees and members of the uniformed services covered by the Blended Retirement System (BRS). Read the fact sheet Annual Limit on Elective Deferrals to find out what happens if you exceed the elective deferral limit.

The dollar amount determined by using this calculator distributes your employee/member contributions over the entire year (or remainder of the year), and thus allows you to receive the maximum Agency or Service Matching Contributions.


A summary of your computations based on the data you entered is shown below.

Maximizing Agency or Service Contributions

To receive the maximum Agency or Service Matching Contributions, you must contribute 5% of your basic pay each pay period.

Warning: Accuracy of Results

This calculator can provide you with a reasonable estimate. However, calculations may vary from actual contribution amounts because of a variety of factors influencing your pay (including pay increases) and the accuracy of the input.

Contribution year
IRS Elective Deferral Limit for 2020
IRS Catch-Up Limit for 2020
Only display if age 50 = true
How much you will have contributed before your new amount is effective
Amount you can still contribute this year
If age 50 = true, then this equals (IRC + Catch-up). Else, this equals IRC.
Number of salary payments remaining in 2020

Here’s the new amount you can contribute each remaining pay period if you want to maximize your contributions for 2020 (rounded down to the nearest dollar).

To change how much you contribute, log into your payroll system and select the Thrift Savings Plan option. Common payroll systems include

Direct Access, Employee Express, EBIS, LiteBlue, myPay, and NFC EPP.