TSP Contribution Limits in 2015

The Thrift Savings Plan has published guidelines for plan participants regarding 2015 contribution limits.

The TSP has published the following information for plan participants regarding contribution limits in 2015:

Contribution Limits for 2015
Elective Deferral Limit $18,000 IRC §402(g) Applies to combined total of traditional and Roth contributions.  For members of the uniformed services, it includes all traditional and Roth contributions from taxable basic pay, incentive pay, special pay, and bonus pay, but does not apply to traditional contributions made from tax-exempt pay earned in a combat zone.
Annual Addition Limit $53,000 IRC §415(c) An additional limit imposed on the total amount of all contributions made on behalf of an employee in a calendar year.  “All contributions” include employee contributions (tax-deferred, after-tax, and tax-exempt), Agency Automatic (1%) Contributions, and Matching Contributions.
Catch-up Contribution Limit $6,000 IRC §414(v) The maximum amount of catch-up contributions that can be contributed in a given year by participants age 50 and older. It is separate from the elective deferral and annual addition limit imposed on regular employee contributions.

If you are a member of the uniformed services, you should know that Roth contributions are subject to the elective deferral limit ($18,000 for 2015 and $17,500 for 2014) even if they are contributed from tax-exempt pay.  If you want to contribute tax-exempt pay toward the annual additions limit, you will have to elect traditional contributions for any amount over the elective deferral limit.

In addition, if you are eligible to make catch-up contributions and you are deployed to a designated combat zone, you will not be able to make any traditional catch-up contributions from your tax-exempt pay.  However, Roth catch-up contributions from tax-exempt pay are allowed.

If you are a member of the Ready Reserve and you are contributing to both a uniformed services and a civilian TSP account as a FERS employee, the elective deferral and catch-up contribution limits apply to the total amount of employee contributions you make in a calendar year to both accounts.

If you are called to active duty and make tax-exempt contributions to the TSP while deployed in a designated combat zone, the sum of the employee and agency contributions to your civilian account as well as the tax-exempt contributions made to your uniformed services account cannot exceed the annual addition limit.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.