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Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for Active Duty USA, USN and USAF Members

 

Active Component TSP Notices:

This information applies to active component Army, Navy and Air Force members, and certain Navy reserve members (those reservists paid on the active component system; if you are unsure of which system you are paid on, please see your finance office).  For other members, see our TSP for Reserve/Guard page for more information.

You may elect both Roth and/or traditional TSP contributions. Traditional TSP contributions are deducted pre-tax; taxes are deferred until you withdraw your contributions.  Roth TSP contributions are taken after-tax.  If you elect to contribute to TSP, the contributions will be deducted from your pay account.  Further information on TSP as well as election forms may be obtained at www.tsp.gov.  You may also find information from your command or installation personal financial counselors, or your finance office.

Newly accessed service members must complete the course. “The Uniformed Services Blended Retirement Systems: YOUR RETIREMENT SYSTEM” within their first 12 months of service. The approved training materials can be found here: .


TSP address for active Army, Navy, Air Force: You may change your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) address information at any time. You may make your address change through myPay if you are currently contributing to TSP. Your TSP address change will be posted to your military pay account at the next update; and sent to update your Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board personal account information after the first update of the next full processing month. You must contact your local finance office to change your address if you are NOT currently contributing to TSP.


Basic Pay needed!
To participate in TSP, you must have elected a minimum of one percent of your basic pay for either traditional or Roth TSP contribution.
 

Know the contribution limits: The IRS has annual limits for TSP contributions. Stay up-to-date on the latest from the nation's tax author

 

Starting TSP Contributions

To participate in TSP, you must have elected a minimum of one percent of your basic pay for either traditional or Roth TSP contribution.

Because Roth TSP is calculated based on gross pay but deducted from net pay, you need to do the math to make sure you have sufficient net pay for the Roth contributions.  Traditional TSP also has a number of other deductions taken first, so you will need to make sure you have sufficient pay for traditional TSP also.

If you wish to make a Roth election (or add a traditional election to a Roth election), you will need to use the Roth election worksheet (adding the traditional election to the Roth election could result in insufficient net pay available for the Roth election).  Use the worksheet for Roth contributions from basic pay, special pay and incentive pay and a separate worksheet for Roth contributions from bonuses and one-time special pay.

Please see the combined maximum percentage charts if you plan on having both a traditional and Roth election (myPay has system checks for combined maximum percentages that will assist you with this). Choose the chart matching your situation: Have Traditional TSP and adding Roth TSP or Have Roth TSP and additing Traditional TSP. It is important to use these tools to avoid having insufficient net pay to cover the contributions.

If you wish to make a traditional TSP only election, you will need to use the traditional election worksheet for basic pay, incentive pay and special pay.  For traditional TSP only, you will not need to use a worksheet for bonus and other one-time special pays, since the only deductions for those pays are taxes, and traditional TSP is tax deferred.

Changing TSP Elections

Life and your financial needs and goals change.  Whether you need to reduce your contribution elections to balance your home budget or increase them to meet your future goals, you MUST submit contribution percentages in all pay categories when changing elections either via myPay or when submitting a TSP-U-1

For example, if you are satisfied with most of your current elections, but wish to increase the percentage of basic pay, you must repeat your current elections in each pay category along with the increased percentage for basic pay.  Failure to submit the correct percentage in each pay category will cause your contribution elections for unmarked categories to be recorded as zero percent.  The fields displayed in myPay for regular TSP can be changed to other values, or to zero if no percentage is desired.

Stopping TSP Elections

A stop to a TSP election is effective at the end of the current month and the last contribution will be the current month contribution.

TSP Spillover

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.
Page updated October 30, 2020

Read this Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board fact sheet on catch-up contributions 


Read the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board fact sheet on https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/oc03-03.pdf>catch-up contributions.