Roth contribution and age


Q. The Thrift Savings Plan allows contributions this year of $17,500 plus a $5,500 catch-up, whether to Roth or traditional IRA. Internal Revenue Service rules also allow (for certain income brackets) a Roth contribution of $5,000 plus $1,000 catch-up. Can a person over the age of 55 make the $6,000 Roth contribution allowed under IRS rules to a secondary Roth IRA and still make the difference ($13,000) in a contribution to the TSP?

A. You are always free to make the full Roth TSP contribution. It’s your eligibility to make the Roth IRA contribution that may be limited, depending upon your tax filing status and your income. See IRS Publication 590, which includes a worksheet to determine your Roth IRA contribution eligibility, for the rules.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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