Catch-up contributions and retiring mid-year


Q. I understand that to make Thrift Savings Plan catch-up contributions, you are supposed to be making sufficient regular TSP contributions so that the maximum annual amount (currently $17,500) of regular TSP contributions will be reached by the end of the year. What happens if you begin contributing an amount per pay period at the beginning of the year that would result in the maximum regular and catch-up contributions by the end of the year assuming 26 pay periods? However, you retire in the middle of the year. This would result in making TSP catch-up contributions during the year without actually reaching the maximum regular TSP contributions. Is this acceptable? Are there any consequences to doing this?

A. It is acceptable and, as far as I know, there are no material consequences of doing this as long as your total contributions for the year fit within the total contribution limit.


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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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