Q. The TSP web site says that for 2018 the “maximum elective deferral” is $18,500. Does this refer only to the employee’s own pre-tax contributions from his/her paycheck? Or does it also include agency automatic or matching contributions? I thought agency contributions plus the “maximum elective deferral” are subject to a much higher “annual addition limit” – $55,000 for 2018. However, someone recently said that agency contributions are, indeed, included in the $18,500 limit. Can you please clarify?
A. The Maximum Elective Deferral limit applies only to elective deferrals, which are the contributions you elect to make from your paycheck. Your agency’s contributions are not elective deferrals.