TSP Max Contributions for 2022

Learn how much you can contribute to a thrift savings plan

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A thrift savings plan (TSP) is among the many retirement tools that can help you save for retirement with tax advantages. TSPs are available to federal employees and members of the uniformed services. 

These plans are defined contribution plans and offer the same types of benefits that 401(k) plans offer employees, such as tax and savings advantages. Let’s learn more about TSPs and their maximum contribution limits for 2022.  

Key Takeaways

  • A thrift savings plan (TSP) is a defined contribution plan that offers tax advantages to federal employees and service members, similar to a 401(k).   
  • The IRS elective deferral limit for 2022 is $20,500, which excludes matching contributions. 
  • If you’re over 50, you can make additional catch-up contributions annually of up to $6,500 as of 2022. 
  • Members of the uniformed services who exceed the annual elective deferral limit can qualify for annual addition limits of $61,000.

Maximum TSP Contributions for 2022

Thrift savings plans were started as a result of the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986 to provide service members and federal workers with retirement savings benefits. 

How much you can contribute to a thrift savings plan varies depending on a number of factors. The IRS elective deferral limit for 2022 is $20,500 and that limit doesn’t include matching contributions received from your federal agency.

The IRS announces contributions limits to tax-deferred savings plans like TSPs each year. Sometimes it makes changes in tandem with inflation, and sometimes it does not. 


TSP limits apply to the combined total of traditional and Roth IRA contributions as well. However, for uniformed services members this limit does not apply to traditional contributions from combat-zone pay.

To make saving for retirement through a TSP easier, you may want to make contributions in smaller amounts instead of a lump sum. For example, you could have contributions automatically deducted from your paycheck each pay period.

You can use the TSP online calculator to help you figure out the exact amount you need to have deducted each pay period to max your contributions and collect any agency or service matching contributions you are entitled to.

Catch-Up Contribution Limits

If you are over the age of 50, you can contribute more than $20,500 if you qualify for catch-up contributions, which help you save faster for retirement. You can make up to $6,500 in additional catch-up contributions to TSPs for 2022 for a total of $27,000.


Any contributions you make past that elective deferral or the annual addition limit automatically count toward the catch-up limit. If you are eligible for a service or agency match, your catch-up contributions will qualify for the match, but only on up to 5% of your salary.

Annual TSP Addition Limits

The annual addition is the total amount that can be contributed each year from all sources. Its limit for 2022 is $61,000 and catch-up contributions are not included. Source of total TSP contributions include: 

  • Employee contributions (tax-deferred, after-tax, and tax-exempt)
  • Agency and/or service automatic (1%) contributions
  • Agency and/or service matching contributions

The annual addition limit mainly affects members of the uniformed services who exceed the annual elective deferral limit. This annual addition limit caps the total amount of contributions someone can make in a year and accounts for all sources of contributions, such as:

Any excess contributions go into the traditional portion of their account alongside tax-exempt pay earned in a combat zone.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you change your TSP contribution?

Typically, if you want to change the amount of your thrift savings plan (TSP) contributions, you can do it through your agency’s or service’s electronic payroll system. You can stop, start, or change their TSP contributions as needed. If you have questions, contact your Human Resources department. 

Who manages your thrift savings plan?

While the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) administers the TSP, the account holder manages their plan, including choosing how much to contribute and allocating their investments

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  1. Thrift Savings Plan. “Contribution Limits.”

  2. U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “2022 Thrift Savings Plan Contributions | US Customs and Border Protection.”

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