The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the contribution limits for 2024:
|Elective Deferral Limit
|Catch-up Contribution Limit
|Annual Additions Limit
These limits define the contributions that can be made to defined contribution accounts like the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for the calendar year. Please note, this is a personal limit that applies to an individual’s aggregated contributions across all such accounts in a calendar year.
TSP contributions are reported by pay date, which is established by the participant’s employing agency and represents the date employees receive payment for a particular pay period. The pay date determines the year for which contributions are applied to the IRS contribution limits and may be different from the date on which contributions are received and posted to the account.
To view contribution limits from previous years, see the Historical information section of tsp.gov.
Elective Deferral Limit (Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 402(g))
The IRC § 402(g) elective deferral limit for 2024 is $23,000. This limit applies to the traditional (tax-deferred) and Roth contributions made by an employee during the calendar year. The combined total of traditional (tax-deferred) and Roth contributions made during the calendar year cannot exceed the elective deferral limit. The elective deferral limit does not apply to Agency/Service Automatic (1%) Contributions, Agency/Service Matching Contributions, catch-up contributions, traditional contributions made from tax-exempt pay, or amounts transferred or rolled over into the TSP.
The TSP is not allowed to accept employee contributions that exceed the elective deferral limit for the year. If a payroll office submits a contribution that exceeds the elective deferral limit for an employee who is not eligible to make catch-up contributions, the TSP will reject only the amount of the employee contribution that exceeds the elective deferral limit. Once the employee reaches the elective deferral limit, his or her contributions will be stopped for the rest of the year.
FERS and BRS participants who reach the limit before the final pay date of the year will also miss out on matching contributions for the rest of the year. Agencies and services should make FERS and BRS participants aware of what happens when they reach the elective deferral limit. You can refer FERS and BRS participants to the fact sheet Annual Limit on Elective Deferrals PDF (Part 1: Limits on Contribution to Your TSP Account).
Catch-Up Contributions Limit (IRC Section 414(v))
The IRC § 414(v) catch-up contribution limit for 2024 is $ 7,500.
Important note: For participants 50 or older or turning 50 in the calendar year, amounts contributed beyond the elective deferral or annual additions limit automatically spill over toward the catch-up limit. For more information on catch-up contributions and the spillover method please see TSP Bulletin 20-1 Spillover Method for Catch-Up Contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan – UPDATE.
Limits for Participants with both Civilian and Uniformed Services Accounts
For participants who contribute to both a civilian and a uniformed services TSP account during the year, the elective deferral and catch-up contribution limits apply to the combined amounts of traditional (tax-deferred) and Roth contributions made to both accounts.
Once the IRS contribution limits have been met, any subsequent contributions will be rejected with an error message that will be sent to the participant’s agency/service payroll office. For more information about what happens if these limits are exceeded by contributing to both accounts, please see the fact sheet Annual Limit on Elective Deferrals (84kb) (Part II: Participating in the TSP and Another Tax-Deferred Retirement Plan).
Participants must report the traditional (tax-deferred) portion of contributions refunded as income for the year in which the contributions were made. Payroll offices must not “correct” the deferral amounts in Box 12 of IRS Form W-2 for participants who exceed the elective deferral or catch-up contribution limit by contributing to a civilian and a uniformed services TSP account.
The earnings on refunded excess contributions must be reported as taxable income for the year in which they are returned by the TSP. The TSP will issue a separate IRS Form 1099-R for the earnings portion of the refund.