2011 Thrift Savings Plan Catch-up Contributions for Participants Age 50 and Older

New Dates and Contribution Limits

If you are a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) participant age 50 or older, or you will turn 50 during 2011, you may be eligible to participate in the catch-up contributions for the TSP. Note the dates and contributions limits that follow:

n These contributions supplement your regular TSP employee contributions; that is, they do not count against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) annual limit on elective deferrals ($16,500 in 2011), but they do have their own annual IRS catch-up limit, which is $5,500 in 2011.

n There are no Postal Service™ matching contribu­tions associated with TSP catch-up contributions.

n Your initial election for 2011 can be effective no ear­lier than the first pay period (PP) in the 2011 calendar year (PP 01-11), which begins December 18, 2010.

n For your initial elections to be effective during that first pay period of 2011, make your election using PostalEASE between Wednesday, December 15, 2010, at 3:30 p.m. CT, and Wednesday, December 29, 2010, at 3:00 p.m. CT.

n After December 29, 2010, at 3:30 p.m. CT, you will still be able to elect 2011 catch-up contributions to take effect throughout PP 26-11. Once you make an elec­tion, you can change the amount or stop at any time, using PostalEASE, without affecting your regular TSP contributions. Your 2011 catch-up contributions will stop automatically once you have had $5,500 with­held from your pay, since that is the 2011 IRS limit.

Eligibility for Catch-up Contributions

To elect catch-up contributions, you must:

n Be age 50 or older, or turn 50 in 2011.

n Self-certify that by the end of the calendar year you will have contributed the IRS annual deferral limit, $16,500, through regular contributions to TSP and/or to other plans subject to the elective deferral limit.

n Be in a pay status. Contributions are made from basic pay through payroll deductions only.

n Not be in the 6-month noncontribution period following the receipt of a financial hardship in-service withdrawal.

Note: There is no “look-back” provision to see what you could have contributed but did not. If you are eligible to participate, you simply have the right to contribute the additional funds up to the annual catch-up contribution limit. If you have been performing active duty military service, however, you may be eligible to make missed catch-up contributions under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

How to Enroll in TSP 50+ Catch-up Contributions for Calendar Year 2011

To prepare to elect TSP 50+ catch-up contributions, before accessing PostalEASE, read the instructions in the TSP catch-up contributions material sent to your address of record and then complete the enclosed worksheet. If you do not receive the mailing, you can find the TSP 50+ Catch-Up Contributions PostalEASE Worksheet on the Internet at https://liteblue.usps.gov. Click My HR, then Benefits, then Benefits and Payroll Elections, then Benefits elections you can make any time, then TSP. Or you may request one by calling the Employee Service Line toll-free at 877-477-3273, option 5, to reach HRSSC.

You may access PostalEASE on the Employee Web on the Internet at https://liteblue.usps.gov, on the Postal Service Intranet Blue, or at an employee self-service kiosk. Using one of these may be easier than using the telephone. Just follow the instructions. Otherwise, call the Employee Service Line toll-free at 877-477-3273, option 1, to reach PostalEASE.

You must have available your Employee Identification Number (EIN) and your USPS® personal identification num­ber (PIN). If you don’t know your USPS PIN, you can get it any one of these ways:

n Go to https://liteblue.usps.gov and click Forget Your PIN? Enter your eight-digit EIN (printed at the top of your earnings statement). Choose a new PIN imme­diately with Self-Service PIN Reset — just follow the instructions.

n Go to the Postal Service™ Intranet Blue page: under “Employee Resources,” click Employee Self-Service, then PostalEASE, and follow the instructions

n Go to an employee self-service kiosk and follow the instructions.

n Dial 877-477-3273 and press 1. When prompted, enter your EIN. When prompted for your PIN, pause, then press 2. Your USPS PIN will be mailed to your address of record the next business day.

Catch-up contributions will be invested in your account based on the most current contribution allocation on file with TSP. Your contribution allocations must be made with TSP using the TSP website, ThriftLine, or Form TSP-50, Investment Allocation.

Other Information

Making elections after PP 01 You may make more than one election in any given calendar year (so long as you do not exceed the annual catch-up contributions limit). You must complete your election using PostalEASE by 3:00 p.m. CT the second Wednesday (day 12) of each pay period in order for the election to be effective in that pay period.

Keeping within your tax deferral limit The annual amount of your catch-up contributions is combined with your regular tax-deferred contributions and shown in the deferral block of IRS Form W-2. If the amount shown exceeds the IRS limit for regular contributions, the IRS will check your date of birth with the Social Security Adminis­tration and assume any amount over the limit is attributable to the catch-up contributions. If you see that you will exceed the catch-up contributions limit (usually by contrib­uting to more than one plan), you may change your TSP election, or you may contact TSP and request a refund of the excess catch-up contributions.

Terminating catch-up contributions after withdrawals If you receive a financial hardship in-service withdrawal, your catch-up contributions must stop along with any regular employee contributions for a period of 6 months.

Making elections next year Your catch-up contribu­tion election terminates automatically with the last pay date of the calendar year to which it applies, unless you have previously terminated the election or you have reached the annual catch-up contribution limit. You will need to make a new election for each calendar year in which you wish to make catch-up contributions.

Questions If you have questions about TSP or PostalEASE, contact HRSSC for assistance.