Benefits Updates

2018 Benefit Changes

Thrift Savings Plan Announces New Dollar Amount

The elective deferral limit will increase by $500 from $18,000 to $18,500 in 2018. The increase applies to the combination of both pretax and after-tax “Roth” plans. The limit applies to personal investments and not agency contributions. Regular investments continue year to year unless changed. To take advantage of the higher limit, employees will have to make a new payroll withholding election in 2018.

Catch up contributions are permitted for participants age 50 and older, including those turning 50 during the year. Catch-up contributions are separate from the elective deferral limit and the annual limit imposed on regular employee contributions. The maximum catch up limit will remain unchanged at $6,000.

Additional TSP information can be found at

Flexible Spending Account Increases Its Dollar Amount

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced an increase of $50 from $2,600 to $2,650 for the annual employee pre-tax contributions allowed under both the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) and Limited Expense Health Flexible Spending Account (LEXFSA). This change does not apply to the annual maximum for Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts, which remains at $5,000. The increase for the HCFSA and LEXFSA is effective for plans beginning on or after January 1, 2018.

Unfortunately, Open Season materials and brochures reflect the current limit of $2,600 and cannot be updated. If there are any questions, the updated limits are currently posted on the website,

Tips for 2018

  • Print out your Leave and Earnings statement for the last pay period of 2017 and the first pay period of 2018. Make sure that your elections and leave balances are correct.
  • Update your beneficiary forms if there has been any change in your life such as marriage, divorce or birth of a child. The following beneficiary forms should be used for changes: -To update TSP use TSP3; -For life insurance updates use Standard Form (SF)2823; -To update CSRS Retirement beneficiaries use SF2808; -FERS retirement beneficiaries may be updated by using SF3102; -To update beneficiaries for unpaid compensation use SF1152.
  • Review your life insurance! Remember, your life insurance premiums increase every 5 years so you will want to review your elections annually to ensure that premiums remain affordable. You may reduce your life insurance amounts at any time; you do not have to wait for Open Season.

Links to forms:

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