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March 19, 2002
Higher Thrift Limits Eyed for Fed Employees
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ill making its way through congressional committees would allow federal employees age 50 and older to contribute an extra $2,000 to their retirement-saving plans next year, according to

Under the bill, approved recently by the House Government Reform Committee, federal employees age 50 or over would be able to make up to $2,000 in so-called "catch-up" contributions on top of the contributions they make under normal Thrift Saving Plan rules.

For 2003, reports, normal TSP rules limit employees under the Federal Employees Retirement System to annual contributions of $12,000, or 13 percent of salary per paycheck, whichever is lower. Employees under the Civil Service Retirement System and military personnel are limited to annual contributions of $12,000, or 8 percent of salary per paycheck, whichever is lower.

Under the bill, the limit on TSP contributions for federal employees age 50 or older would be $2,000 higher than for younger workers in 2003, $3,000 higher in 2004, $4,000 higher in 2005, $5,000 higher in 2006.

After 2006, the limit for people age 50 or older would remain at $5,000 above the limit for younger people. Coupled with planned increases in normal TSP contributions, federal employees age 50 or older would be able to contribute as much as $20,000 a year to their TSP accounts beginning in 2006.

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