Updated January 5, 2021.
Changes to catch-up contributions
The process for catch-up contributions is now easier for TSP participants. If you’re turning 50 or older, you’ll no longer need to make separate catch-up elections to your TSP account to contribute toward the catch-up limit.
Here’s how it will work
If you’re turning 50 or older and exceed the IRS elective deferral (or annual addition) limit, then your contributions will automatically start counting toward the IRS catch-up limit. Just add any contributions toward the catch-up limit in the same place as your other TSP contributions.
Your election will carry over each year unless you submit a new one. For instructions on changing your contribution amount, see Start, change, or stop contributions.
If you’re eligible for an agency or service match, contributions spilling over toward the catch-up limit will qualify for the match1 on up to 5% of your salary.
You may start, stop, or change your contributions at any time. If you choose not to contribute toward the catch-up limit, you should adjust your TSP contributions accordingly.
Important note for members of the uniformed services
If you are a uniformed services member and enter a combat zone, your contributions toward the catch-up limit must be Roth. (The TSP cannot accept traditional tax-exempt contributions toward the catch-up limit.) You also cannot contribute toward the catch-up limit from incentive pay, special pay, or bonus pay.
If you are contributing to both a civilian and uniformed services account, the limits apply to the total you contribute to both accounts during the year.
- For Blended Retirement System (BRS) participants: If you have reached the annual addition limit, your contributions toward catch-up will not be matched. (The IRS does not allow participants who have reached the annual addition limit to receive any more matching for the year.)