TSPcatch-up contributions are supplement tax-deferred employee contributions that employees can make to TSP beyond the maximum amount they can contribute through regular contributions. In 2015, employees could contribute up to $6,000 in catch-up contributions. The 2016 limit for catch-up contributions remains at $6,000.
To be eligible to make catch-up contributions, the following conditions must apply:
- The employee must be at least age 50 years or older during the calendar year in which the catch-up contributions are made (even if the employee becomes age 50 on December 31 of that year).
- The employee must be currently employed and in a pay status (TSP catch-up contributions are made through payroll deductions).
- The employee must be making regular contributions to a civilian or uniformed services TSP account (or both) and/or an equivalent employer plan (401(k) 403(b), or 408 plan) that equals the maximum allowed by IRS, which is $18,000 for 2016.
Eligible employees can contribute up to the annual maximum dollar amount allowed by the IRSelective deferral limit. Catch-up contributions have an annual IRS limit of $6,000 for 2016, which are subject to annual increases for inflation.
Since catch-up contributions are supplemental, they do not count against the IRSelective deferral limit. However, the combination of regular and catch-up TSP contributions cannot exceed the total IRS contribution limit for the year. For example, for 2015, TSP contributions cannot exceed $24,000 (i.e., the $18,000 elective deferral limit on regular TSP contributions, plus the $6,000 catch-up contributions limit).
Catch-up contributions apply to the year during which they are made, even if they are posted to the TSPaccount in the following year (i.e., employee contributions for the last pay date in December may not be posted until January, but will be counted toward the limit in December).
Catch-up contributions can only be made from the employee’s basic pay. Bonuses or special pay and incentive pay for members of the uniformed services, cannot be applied towards catch-up contributions.
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