What are catch-up contributions?
Starting in the year you turn 50, you can make
contributions to your TSP account beyond the regular
contribution maximum. These are called "catch-up
contributions." You can choose to make catch-up
contributions on a traditional (pre-tax) basis or a Roth
(after-tax) basis. It does not matter what type of regular
contributions you are making.
Who is eligible to make catch-up contributions?
To be eligible to make catch-up contributions, you
• age 50 or older during the calendar year in
which the catch-up contributions are made (even
if you become age 50 on December 31 of that
• currently employed and in pay status; and
• making regular contributions to a civilian or
uniformed services TSP account (or both), and/
or an equivalent employer plan (such as a 401(k),
403(b), or 408(k)(6) plan) that will equal the
maximum allowed by the Internal Revenue
Code (IRC). The maximum allowed is subject
to change every year. Visit tsp.gov for current
How much can I contribute to the TSP?
Once you have determined you are eligible, you can
make catch-up contributions up to the IRC catch-up
contribution limit for the year. Visit tsp.gov for the
Because catch-up contributions are in addition to your
regular contributions, they do not count against the
IRC elective deferral limit or the total IRC annual
addition limit for the year.
Catch-up contributions apply to the year during
which you made them, even if they are posted to your
account in the following year (i.e., your contributions
for the last pay date in December might not be posted
until January but will be counted toward the limit in
Will I receive any matching contributions on
my catch-up contributions?
No. There are no matching contributions on
Can I make catch-up contributions from
No. Catch-up contributions can only be made from
basic pay. Bonuses (or, if you are a member of the
uniformed services, special pay or incentive pay) cannot
be applied toward catch-up contributions.
How do I make catch-up contributions?
You can make catch-up contributions only through
payroll deductions. To make catch-up contributions,
you must submit a Catch-Up Contribution Election
(Form TSP-1-C, or Form TSP‑U‑1‑C for members of
the uniformed services) to your agency or service. You
must indicate the dollar amount you would like to
contribute each pay period, and you must self-certify
that you expect to contribute the maximum amount
of regular contributions for the year. You can obtain
Form TSP-1-C from your agency or Form TSP-U-1-C
from your service. Both forms are also available from
tsp.gov. If your agency or service uses an electronic
version of the form (e.g., on Employee Express,
LiteBlue, EBIS, myPay, or the NFC PPS), you may be
required to submit your election electronically. (Check
with your agency or service for guidance.)
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