403(b) contributions for a FERS employee


Q. Besides the $18,500 and $5,000 “catch-up” (if at least age 50) 2018 contribution maximums to the TSP 403(b), can one contribute money beyond these two amounts in the form of after-tax non-matched contributions? At the TSP website it states as follows for the “Annual Addition Limit” of $55,000 per IRC Section 415(c): “An additional limit imposed on the total amount of all contributions made on behalf of an employee in a calendar year. This limit is per employer and includes employee contributions (tax-deferred, after-tax, and tax-exempt), Agency/Service Automatic (1%) Contributions, and Matching Contributions. For 415(c) purposes, working for multiple Federal agencies or services in the same year is considered having one employer.”

A. The 415(c) limit you’re referring to applies to the total contributed to the account by both the employee and employer. It does not affect the amounts that you are allowed to contribute to your own account.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com and view his blog at money.federaltimes.com.

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