Mid-year is a good point for federal employees who are age 50 or above, or who will be before the end of the year, to look into starting “catch-up contribution” investments into the TSP if they are not making those investments already.

Even those who made such investments last year must make an annual election to do so; unlike regular TSP investments, catch-ups don’t carry over from year to year.


Catch-ups are allowed if an eligible individual has hit the annual dollar TSP limit ($18,000 this year) or is on an investing pace to do so by the end of the year. The maximum allowable catch-up is $6,000 this year.

The investments must be made from payroll withholding. With half the year already gone, waiting much longer could discourage participants from taking advantage of that benefit, since the biweekly withholding needed to reach a desired investment amount would grow ever larger as time passes.

Those wishing to make such investments should check with their payroll offices to see how many pay distribution dates will remain in the year by the time their elections take effect.