Updated August 25, 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 works:
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.)