Definition of TSA

Transportation Security Administration

Learn More about TSA

Statistics for TSA

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“TSA.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for TSA

Financial Definition of TSA

What It Is

A tax-sheltered annuity (TSA), also referred to as a tax-deferred annuity (TDA) plan or a 403(b) retirement plan, is a retirement savings plan for employees of certain public education organizations, non-profit organizations, cooperative hospital service organizations and self-employed ministers.

How It Works

Organizations offer tax-sheltered annuity plans to eligible employees for long-term investment growth, akin to a 401(k) plan. Payments to these plans typically follow one of three forms:

The employer makes payments to the plan through a salary-reduction agreement.

The employee personally makes payments to the plan.

The employee makes payments to the plan and the employer matches these payments.

In 2010 the basic salary deferral limit was $16,250.

Why It Matters

TSA plans consist of benefits that set them apart from a 401(k):

Age 50 + Catch-Up: Participants who are 50 years old and older are eligible to make additional annual contributions to the TSA plan starting from the year they turn 50. If a participant is already contributing the maximum amount to his/her plan, then he/she may also be able to contribute more with Catch-Up Contribution. In 2004, the Age 50+ catch-up contribution limit was $3,000. That amount increases to $4,000 in 2005 and $5,000 in 2006.

Lifetime Catch-Up: This provision is available to employees with least 15 years of service, and allows participants to contribute up to $3,000 in addition to the normal contribution limit if they have previously contributed less than $5,000 a year to the plan on average. The lifetime limit for the catch-up provision is $15,000.

Taxes and Distributions: Taxes on tax-sheltered annuity plan contributions and earnings are not levied until the plan owner withdraws money from the plan. This money is taxed as regular income. Typically, withdrawals are not made until the plan owner is at least 59 ½ years old. If the plan owner makes a withdrawal before their retirement age, then he/she will have a 10% penalty payable to the IRS (unless special circumstances apply).

Investment Options: Unlike in 401(k) plans, TSA plan participants are not permitted to invest in individual stocks. Investment options specific to TSA plans include annuity and variable annuity contracts with insurance companies, custodial accounts consisting of mutual funds, as well as retirement income accounts for churches.

Source: Investing Answers

Medical Definition of TSA

Tourette Syndrome Association

Comments on TSA

What made you want to look up TSA? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!