A question that federal employees often ask us is whether or not they can contribute to an IRA in addition to their TSP accounts.
Yes, they can! Here are some more details on contributing to both types of retirement savings accounts.
Contributing to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Outside of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
The TSP states, “Your participation in the TSP does not affect your eligibility to contribute to an IRA. However, the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) establishes limits on the dollar amount that you can contribute to eligible employer plans like the TSP and to individual retirement accounts such as traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. These limits may change from year to year.”
Once your household income reaches a certain threshold, you may not be able to deduct IRA contributions. The IRS has more details about this on its website.
The TSP also adds, “You should also be aware that, depending on your personal financial situation, contributing to the Roth TSP may affect your eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA.”
So what are these contribution limits for the TSP and IRAs for 2023?
2023 TSP Contribution Limits
The annual contribution limit for the TSP is $22,500 per year in 2023. This is a 9% increase over the limit in 2022, so it represents a great savings opportunity for federal employees who can afford to contribute the maximum annual amount to their TSP accounts.
Federal employees who are over the age of 50 are also eligible to make catch-up contributions which amount to an additional $7,500 per year. This puts the total annual savings limit at $30,000 for federal employees who are age 50 and over based on the 2023 TSP contribution limits set by the IRS.
2023 IRA Contribution Limits
The 2023 annual contribution limit for an IRA is $6,500 per year, up from $6,000 per year in 2022. The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals 50 and over is $1,000 ($7,500 total).
Total 2023 Annual Retirement Contribution Opportunity
Between the 2023 TSP and the IRA contribution limits, federal employees can potentially save as much as $29,000 per year into the two account types. For those who can afford to invest this much into retirement, it will go a long way towards growing into millions of dollars by the time they are retirement age.
Federal employees who are age 50 and older have an even better total annual savings opportunity thanks to the catch up contributions. Between the TSP and an IRA, it is $37,500 in 2023.
Other Important Factors
Federal employees who plan on contributing to a Roth IRA must be aware that there are different eligibility rules for Roth IRAs that could come into play based on their annual incomes. If an individual makes over a certain amount of money each year, he or she may have limited or no eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA.
2023 Income Limits for Roth IRA Contributions
This table from the IRS breaks down the Roth IRA contribution limits for the various filing statuses:
|If your filing status is…||And your modified AGI is…||Then you can contribute…|
|married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)||< $218,000||up to the limit|
|married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)||> $218,000 but < $228,000||a reduced amount|
|married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)||> $228,000||zero|
|married filing separately and you lived with your spouse at any time during the year||< $10,000||a reduced amount|
|married filing separately and you lived with your spouse at any time during the year||> $10,000||zero|
|single, head of household, or married filing separately and you did not live with your spouse at any time during the year||< $138,000||up to the limit|
|single, head of household, or married filing separately and you did not live with your spouse at any time during the year||> $138,000 but < $153,000||a reduced amount|
|single, head of household, or married filing separately and you did not live with your spouse at any time during the year||> $153,000||zero|
The details surrounding Roth IRA contribution limits are explained further on the IRS website. A qualified tax advisor can guide you in determining if you are eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA based on your personal financial situation.
If you can afford to set aside more money for retirement and are eligible to do so, do it! It is a move you won’t regret when you reach retirement.
The information above is a basic overview of guidelines for retirement contributions. Depending on one’s financial situation or the type of investment, it can quickly become more complex. You should always consult with a qualified tax professional and/or financial planner for advice and assistance tailored to your personal situation.