Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
The TSP is a retirement savings and investment plan for civilian employees of the United States Government and members of the uniformed services. TSP is similar to a 401K plan offered by many public and private corporations. Learn more about TSP.
If you are a federal employee covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) or the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), you may make TSP contributions immediately upon employment. If you are covered by FERS, you may also receive matching agency contributions. All eligible employees are automatically enrolled in TSP at a five percent contribution rate.
Beginning with the first pay period of 2021, the TSP switched to a “spillover” method for TSP Catch-Up contributions. This change eliminates the requirement to make a separate TSP Catch-Up election each year. The spillover method streamlines the catch-up contribution process for eligible participants by eliminating the requirement for participants to make an affirmative catch-up election each year. Participants turning 50 or older will no longer need to make a separate catch-up election. Once they reach the Elective Deferral Limit, their regular contributions will automatically start counting toward the IRC 414(v) catch-up contribution limit. More information can be found on the TSP website.
Additional Information about TSP
Department of Defense (DoD) employees may use the DoD’s Employee Benefit Information System (EBIS) to stop or change TSP contribution amounts. You may start, change or stop your contributions any time after your first full pay period in pay status. Your Leave and Earnings Statement should reflect your TSP deductions within two pay periods. If you do not work for DoD, you can make changes using your agency’s self-service or electronic system, where applicable.
Visit TSP online for complete eligibility details and contribution limits.
Pay Excluded From TSP
You may only make TSP contributions from your Basic Pay; however, the following types of pay are not considered Basic Pay:
- Foreign and Domestic Post Differential for General Schedule Employees
- Foreign Post Differential for Prevailing Rate Employees
- Severance Pay
- Retroactive Pay Granted to a Retired or Deceased Employee Pursuant to a Wage Survey
- Lump-sum Leave Payments
- Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments
- Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs Payments
Accessing Your Account
Once TSP receives your first contribution, it will mail you a welcome letter containing your TSP Personal Identification Number (PIN). You will need your PIN to access your TSP account.
Your contributions are automatically invested in TSP’s G Fund until you access your account and designate other funds to invest in. You have several TSP investment options from which to choose. After the conclusion of your first pay period, you may access your TSP account to select the funds you want your future contributions to invest in.
Changing Your Investment Allocations
In addition to adjusting the funds your future contributions are invested in, you may also change how your past contributions are allocated (or invested) across the various TSP funds. TSP refers to this transaction as an interfund transfer (IFT). For full details about how to complete an IFT, please visit TSP’s Interfund Transfers page.
What’s New With TSP
All eligible employees are automatically enrolled in TSP at a five percent contribution rate.
Review more of the latest updates and information from TSP, including announcements, scheduled system outages and contribution limits and rates.
For Civilian Pay questions, please contact your Customer Service Representative (CSR). Contact your immediate supervisor for more details.
Page updated October 1, 2020