How much can I contribute?
- Elective Contributions
- 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.
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.
Your most recent Leave and Earnings statement or payslip will show how much you’ve contributed to the TSP this year, usually labeled 'YTD.' If you’ve made traditional and Roth contributions, add them up and enter the total. If you have a civilian and a uniformed services TSP account, use the total amount you’ve contributed to both accounts so far this year. Do not include Agency or Service Automatic (1%) or Matching Contributions. If you use this calculator before your YYYY contributions begin, enter 0.
People often use this calculator to figure out a new dollar amount they should contribute to reach the IRS limit without going over. But when you change how much you’re contributing, it can take 1-2 pay periods for your agency or service to process the new amount. During that time, the TSP will still receive the amount you’re contributing now.
Enter an estimate of how much you’ll contribute before any changes take effect. If you are uncertain, check with your personnel or finance office.
This will depend on how often you are paid (biweekly or monthly, for example). If you are uncertain, check with your personnel or finance office.
Payment Frequency Number of Salary Payments Biweekly 26* Monthly 12 Weekly 52 Semimonthly 24
* A biweekly frequency occasionally results in 27 salary payments for a year. Contact your personnel or payroll office if you do not know the number of salary payments you will receive for the remainder of the year.
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.
Here’s the new amount you can contribute each remaining pay period if you want to maximize your contributions for YYYY (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