December 11, 2012
1:15 p.m.

Subject: 2013 Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Participant Contribution Limits

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TSP Contribution Limits

The 2013 tax year (December 16, 2012—December 14, 2013) elective deferral limit for regular TSP accounts has increased to $17,500. The 2013 tax year limit for the TSP Catch-up remains at $5,500.

Attention—Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Employees

FERS employees receive matching contributions on the first 5percent of their contributions each pay period. The match is dollar-for-dollar on the first 3 percent, and 50 cents on the dollar on the next 2 percent. Once an employee's total contributions reach the elective deferral limit for the tax year ($17,500 for 2013), employee deductions and matching contributions stop! Therefore, it is very important for FERS employees to contribute to the TSP each pay period. The biweekly contribution for 26 pay dates (PP 26/2012 through PP 25/2013) to reach a maximum of $17,500), is $673.07, rounded up to $674.

TSP Catch-up Contributions

If you are, or will be age 50 or older during the 2013 calendar year, you may contribute an additional $5,500 to the TSP if you are already contributing the maximum amount in regular TSP contributions ($17,500). The biweekly contribution for 26 pay periods (to reach a maximum of $5,500) is $212.

Reminder: The TSP Catch-up automatically ends with the last salary check of the tax year (PP 25). You must make a new TSP Catch-up election each tax year to continue your Catch-up contributions.

When to Submit Changes

Submit your election form by December 14, 2012, to make it effective at the beginning of tax year 2013 (PP 26). Forms received after December 14, 2012, will not be effective until after the beginning of the 2013 tax year and may need to be adjusted to maximize contributions. Other changes to your TSP contributions may be made at anytime.

How to Make Changes

Employees who wish to make electronic changes can do so by using the Employee Personal Page (

Employees who wish to submit paper elections should complete form TSP-1 for regular TSP contributions and form TSP-1-C for Catch-up contributions. These forms can be found on the TSP website (

TSP-1 and TSP-1-C election forms can be faxed to Departmental Management, OHRM Human Resources Operations, at 301-504-3674, or mailed to the following address:

USDA/OHRM/HRO, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Room 2-2149, Beltsville, MD 20705-5149

For questions, please contact Ms. Darla Bullard, Benefits Specialist at (301) 504-2239.