Government Matching in TSP When You Are Over 50

If you are over age 50, does the maximum contribution you can make to the TSP change?

Q: In your article you state, “In 2013 you can contribute $17,500 to the TSP ($5,500 more if you are 50 or over). Employees early in their career are unlikely to be able to afford the full amount, but they should always contribute enough (5%) to get the government match.” Are you saying that if you are over 50, the max goes from $17,500 to $23,000? If that is the case and you have $884 ($23,000/26 payperiods) taken out each payperiod, will the government match you at the full 5%? I read somewhere that if you exceed your max amount before the end of the year, the government will stop matching your contributions.

A: No, you don’t have $884 per pay period taken out. Regular contributions ($674 per pay period i 2014) and “catch-up” contributions are separate. In addition, you must make a new “catch-up” contribution each year.

Agencies can request to have John Grobe, or another of Federal Career Experts' qualified instructors, deliver a retirement or transition seminar to their employees. FCE instructors are not financial advisers and will not sell or recommend financial products to class participants. Agency Benefits Officers can contact John Grobe at to discuss schedules and costs.

About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a firm that provides pre-retirement training and seminars to a wide variety of federal agencies. FCE’s instructors are all retired federal retirement specialists who educate class participants on the ins and outs of federal retirement and benefits; there is never an attempt to influence participants to invest a certain way, or to purchase any financial products. John and FCE specialize in retirement for special category employees, such as law enforcement officers.