Matching contributions


Q. I’m confused about the 5 percent agency matching base pay as compared to the $17,500 threshold. After looking at the TSP website and seeing that my agency will only match up to 5 percent of my base pay which comes to about $3,300 roughly. I am currently contributing the max amount of $674 per pay period to get me to $17,500. What would be the benefit of maxing out the $17,500 if the agency is only matching $3,300?

A. You must contribute 5 percent of your pay to receive the full benefit of matching contributions. Anything you contribute beyond that is not matched, but reduces your taxable income for the year, can be invested in the TSP’s low-cost funds — including the unique G Fund — and may serve as the basis for a TSP loan.


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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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