594 Adjustments

594.1 Responsibility

The Postal Service is responsible for correcting any improper or erroneous TSP withholding. The Postal Service may adjust an employee’s TSP account only as procedures specified in 594.2 through 594.4 allow.

594.2 Elections Not Processed

Employees may make contribution elections at any time. If an election is delayed, the employee may change the contribution amount or percentage to achieve the desired annualized amount. The Postal Service will not process retroactive contributions unless the employee is eligible for catch-up contributions.

594.3 Over-deductions

594.31 Excess Contributions

The TSP returns to the employee contributions that exceed the deferral limit. The Postal Service treats excess contributions as taxable income for the year in which the employee contributed.

594.32 Amount of Adjustment

The employee will receive the full amount that the Postal Service over-deducted even if the following occurs:

  1. The adjustment involves index funds, and
  2. There has been an investment loss.

If the full amount is not refunded, the employee may file a claim. See 594.8 for the claim procedure.

594.33 Earnings

Earnings posted to the employee’s account because of excess contributions will remain in the account unless the refund of excess contributions would liquidate the account.

594.4 Under-deductions

594.41 Correction

When the non-processing or incorrect processing of an election form results in an under-deduction, the TSP must process the correct election immediately with the same effective date as the election containing the error.

594.42 PS Form 6886, Thrift Savings Plan — Request for Retroactive Contributions

Subsequent to correction of the error a PS Form 6886, Thrift Savings Plan — Request for Retroactive Contributions, must be prepared. PS Form 6886 must be prepared in all instances of under-deductions even if the employee does not wish to contribute make-up contributions.

594.43 Preparation

After the correction of the administrative error, the Postal Service prepares PS Form 6886 in accordance with Distributed Data Entry and Distributed Reporting (DDE/DR) processing guidelines. The prepared form must include the following:

  1. The employee’s name, Social Security number, and finance number.
  2. The total pay periods in which the administrative error occurred.
  3. The percentage or amount in error and the correct percentage or amount that is now being deducted.
  4. The calculated estimated total amount of the under-deduction.

When it has included this information on the form, the Postal Service sends the original of the prepared form to the employee and retains a copy pending the employee’s return of the form after the employee completes and signs it.

594.44 Decision

Employees decide whether to contribute make-up contributions, which are made through payroll deductions. Employees are required to make a decision and to complete, sign, and return the prepared PS Form 6886 within 30 days of their receipt of the form from the Postal Service. Employees who complete, sign, and return the form within 30 days forfeit the right to contribute make-up contributions.

594.45 Disposition
594.451 No Return of PS Form 6886

If the employee does not return the PS Form 6886 within 30 days, personnel officials do the following:

  1. Annotate the copy of the prepared form “No Reply Within 30 Days — No Action Taken,” and
  2. File the annotated copy in the employee’s Official Personnel Folder (OPF).
594.452 No Make-up Contributions

Employees who choose not to contribute make-up contributions must check the appropriate block on the PS Form 6886, sign the form, and return it to the HRSSC, where the form is certified and filed in the employee’s OPF as a permanent record.

594.453 Make-up Contributions

Employees wishing to contribute make-up contributions must choose the number of pay periods over which contributions will be made and provide this information on PS Form 6886, along with the estimated total deduction amount. The minimum number of pay periods for make-up contributions is one. The maximum number of pay periods is four times the number of pay periods over which the error occurred.

When multiple pay periods are involved, the make-up contributions will be in equal amounts each pay period. In no instance may less than the full amount of the adjustment be deducted. Employees may not elect make-up contributions for a portion of the period that was in error.

594.46 Processing
594.461 Upon Receipt of Signed PS Form 6886

Upon receipt from the employee of a completed and signed PS Form 6886 that includes a request to make up contributions, appropriate Postal Service staff reviews, signs, and dates the form, sends the original (reviewed, signed, and dated) to the Eagan Accounting Service Center (ASC), and stores a copy in the employee’s OPF.

594.462 Verification

The Eagan ASC verifies that the amount of the estimated total deduction that the employee entered on PS Form 6886 is correct. If the estimated total deduction entered on the form is incorrect, the PS Form 6886 will be returned indicating the correction.

594.463 If Insufficient Wages

If the employee has insufficient wages to withhold the full amount for the pay period, no contribution is made. These periods do not count against the number of pay periods chosen for make-up contributions. When the employee has sufficient wages again, make-up contributions resume and continue until the full amount has been withheld or the employee elects to discontinue them.

594.464 If Insufficient Net Pay

If the employee has insufficient net pay to make all the TSP contributions, the regular TSP contributions will take precedence over the employee’s make-up contributions.

594.465 Allocation

Make-up contributions of employees making up an under-deduction will be allocated in accordance with the TSP-1 election currently in effect. If the employee was erroneously denied participation in TSP, a separate TSP-1 form may be completed for each open season that occurred during the period of under-deduction. If the employee fails to make a current election, all make-up contributions are designated to the G Fund for the period of under-deduction.

594.466 Terminating Make-up Contributions

Once make-up contributions have begun, the employee may choose to terminate them. However, the decision to terminate is irrevocable. To terminate make-up contributions:

  1. The employee must complete, sign, and return to HRSSC a PS Form 6886 showing the employee’s decision to terminate the make-up contributions.
  2. Personnel then signs and dates the form, and sends it to the Eagan ASC.
  3. A copy of the PS Form 6886 terminating the make-up contributions is then attached to the initial PS Form 6886 that included the request for make-up contributions and placed in the employee’s OPF.
594.467 Transfers

If an employee transfers to another agency, the new agency must be advised of the error. If the new agency advises that the employee elects to contribute make-up contributions, or to continue make-up contributions that began before the transfer, coordination between the new agency offices and the Eagan ASC is necessary.

594.468 Attributable Earnings

Earnings attributable to the period of under-deduction (if any) are posted to the employee’s account in accordance with TSP lost-earnings regulations.

594.5 Resuming and Make-up Contributions When Returning from Military Leave

594.51 Requirements

Employees returning to work from active military duty for which they were on leave without pay must do the following:

  1. Ensure that their contributions resume and are deducted from their pay.
  2. Decide whether they want to make up contributions to their civilian TSP account for the period missed because of their military service (including catch-up contributions if they are age 50 or older).
  3. Submit a written request to the agency within 60 days of the date of their reemployment or restoration to federal civilian service to make up eligible missed TSP contributions.
  4. Contact their district Human Resources office to request information on the procedures for processing Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) claims.
594.52 FERS Employees

FERS employees may be eligible to claim retroactive matching contributions to their civilian account. Eligible employees must have done one of the following:

  1. Contributed from basic pay to their uniformed services account while they were on nonpay status performing military service.
  2. Elected to make employee contributions when they returned from military service.
594.53 Keeping and Reviewing Statements

Employees on active duty must keep their leave and earnings statements to provide to facilitate their claim.

Returning employees must review closely the balance and transactions in their civilian TSP account. FERS employees who notice the removal of agency automatic (1 percent) contributions and attributable earnings from their account while they were in a nonpay status must contact the HRSSC about how to restore these funds.

594.6 Erroneous Retirement System

Employees are encouraged to review their TSP contributions to determine if they must make adjustments when an action is processed correcting their retirement system from CSRS to FERS or from FERS to CSRS.

When a correction results in moving into a retirement plan that does not allow for agency contribution (1 percent), matching contributions, or both, the TSP will deduct agency contributions from the employee’s TSP account.

594.7 Back-Pay Awards

594.71 General Rule

Employees receiving a back-pay award must be made whole with respect to participating in the TSP. The Eagan ASC must follow the procedures in 594.72 and 594.73 when processing back-pay awards.

594.72 Erroneous Separation

The employee may elect participation or termination of elections in the same manner as though the separation did not occur.

Refer to 591.33 for instructions for rehired employees. The Eagan ASC will handle retroactive withholdings regarding back-pay claims it receives in accordance with the applicable Management Instruction covering back pay.

594.73 Continuous Service

Employees who receive a back-pay adjustment and who are not separated from service receive an adjustment for contributions only if they previously elected coverage. The Eagan ASC processes the adjustment automatically.

594.8 Claim Procedure

594.81 General Rule

The employee may file a claim for correction with the HRSSC if any of the following situations occur:

  1. There is a dispute regarding the Postal Service’s findings related to the employee’s entitlement to make-up contributions.
  2. The amount refunded because of an administrative error was less than the amount previously withheld.
  3. The employee discovers another error involving the correct payment to the TSP.
594.82 Review of Claim

The HRSSC must review all employee claims to determine whether the claim relates to an error the Postal Service or the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board made. If the claim relates to Board errors, the claim must be sent to the following address within 10 days of the Postal Service’s receipt of the claim:

Thriftline Service Center
C/O Broadridge Processing
PO Box 1600
Newark, NJ 07101-1600

Overnight Delivery:
ThriftLine Service Center
C/O Broadridge Processing
2 Gateway Center
283-299 Market Street 17th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102

Fax Number:

The HRSSC must advise the employee of the referral.

594.83 Postal Service Decision

When the claim relates to the Postal Service, the HRSSC must provide the employee within 30 days of receipt of the claim with a decision or with good cause for requiring more time to decide the claim. If the HRSSC decides to deny the claim, the HRSSC must send the denial in writing. The denial must contain the following information:

  1. The reason for the denial, with references.
  2. A description of any additional material or information necessary to approve the claim with an explanation of why it is necessary.
  3. Steps the employee must take to appeal the decision.
594.84 Employee Appeal Rights

The employee may appeal the denial, in writing, within 30 days after receiving the decision, to the appropriate Human Resources manager or designee. The designee must not be the same individual who originally denied the claim.

594.85 Final Decision

The appropriate Human Resources manager or designee must make the final decision, in writing, within 30 days after receiving the employee’s appeal unless the Postal Service provides the employee with good cause for requiring more time to decide the appeal. There is no administrative appeal of the Postal Service’s final decision.

Employees who exhaust all administrative remedies are eligible to file suit in the appropriate federal district court in the following situations:

  1. Upon receipt of the Postal Service’s final decision, or
  2. If the Postal Service has not issued a final decision or provided a good cause for delay within 30 days of its receipt of the employee’s appeal.
594.86 Time Limitation

The Postal Service must act within 6 months of the error’s occurrence to correct an error for which the employee files a claim.

The Postal Service may use discretion in deciding whether to correct it in the following situations:

  1. If more than 6 months have passed since the error occurred when the employee files a claim to correct the error, or
  2. The Postal Service independently identifies the error.