Among civilian TSP participants, only FERS employees are entitled to receive agency contributions. If you are a FERS employee, your agency makes two different types of contributions to your TSP account as part of your FERS benefits. These contributions are not taken out of your pay, nor do they increase your pay for income tax or Social Security purposes.
First, when you become eligible for agency contributions, your agency will automatically contribute to your TSP account an amount equal to 1 percent of your basic pay each pay period. These are your Agency Automatic (1%) Contributions. You will receive these contributions whether or not you contribute your own money to your TSP account.
Second, if you are contributing to your TSP account, your agency also makes Agency Matching Contributionsonce you are eligible for them. If you do not contribute your own money, you will not receive Agency Matching Contributions. Matching contributions apply to the first 5 percent of pay that you contribute each pay period. Your contributions are matched dollar-for-dollar on the first 3 percent of pay you contribute each pay period and 50 cents on the dollar for the next 2 percent of pay. Your agency will not match the contributions that you make above 5 percent of your pay. However, you will still benefit from before-tax savings and tax-deferred earnings on those contributions.
The fact that your agency adds to your contributions will make your TSP account grow faster. Your Agency Automatic (1%) and Matching Contributions can add up to 5 percent of your basic pay. Here's how it works:
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