Browsing: Thrift Savings Plan

TSP board to ask whether sequester and furloughs affecting participants' investment choices

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The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board plans to ask Thrift Savings Plan participants whether the sequester and–in many cases, employee furloughs–has prompted them to change their investment choices. The question will be added to the biannual survey going out to a sample of about 50,000 TSP account holders this fall, Renee Wilder, the board’s director of enterprise planning, said in a brief interview today. At the board’s monthly meeting, Wilder said that TSP participation among active Federal Employees Retirement System members dipped slightly in June to a 12-month low of 2.39 million, but it is unclear whether that decline stemmed from…

TSP Board withholding results of security review prompted by 2011 hacking attack

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Last year, following the disclosure that 123,000 Thrift Savings Plan accounts had been hacked, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board launched a wide-ranging assessment of its computer system security. That “Tiger Team” task force review is now complete, but the board isn’t making the findings public. Instead, the agency is withholding the entire report on the grounds that disclosure “could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law,”  Amanda Haas, a Freedom of Information Act officer with the board, said in a response today to Federal Times’ FOIA request. Haas did not immediately reply to a request for more information…

G-Fund again saving the world (temporarily)

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If you have money invested in the Thrift Savings Plan’s G-Fund, take a bow. Your retirement nest egg is now part of a strategy to stave off worldwide financial calamity. That’s because the Treasury Department intends to intentionally stiff the fund as one of several “extraordinary measures” announced last month to buy time after the government hit its legal $16.4 trillion debt ceiling Dec. 31. Here’s how it works: the fund—technically known as the Government Securities Investment Fund—is continually re-invested in short-term government bonds. Because those bonds count toward the debt ceiling, Treasury suspends re-investments to free up more borrowing “headroom.” The…

G-Fund and postal benefits fund made whole, GAO says

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It’s official: The Thrift Savings Plan’s G-Fund is back to full strength after losing almost $400 million courtesy of last year’s debt ceiling showdown. The confirmation comes from a Government Accountability Office review of the Treasury Department’s maneuvering to head off an unprecedented U.S. default after Congress initially deadlocked over raising the nation’s borrowing limit. The standoff was resolved (at least temporarily) last August with approval of the Budget Control Act, which traded a debt-ceiling increase for spending cuts. But in the months before the act’s passage, Treasury resorted to a number of “extraordinary actions” to buy time. One involved…

Union fears pay cuts could hurt TSP savings

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Federal employees’ Thrift Savings Plan accounts could end up collateral damage in the push to hike federal employees’ pension contributions, the American Federation of Government Employees said yesterday. At Monday’s meeting with the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, AFGE public policy director Jacque Simon asked for more granular, grade-by-grade data on TSP contribution rates. Simon said she wants to know whether lower-paid federal employees are pulling back on their TSP contributions in response to proposals to increase pension contributions by anywhere from 1.2 percent to 5 percent. “It’s going to be increasingly important to have access to data like that,”…

Retirements, hardship withdrawls cut TSP contributions

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Here are highlights from Monday’s Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board meeting: -The number of participants with no contributions to their TSP accounts increased by about 3,000 last month, compared with a 25,000 increase on October. The number of active FERS employees contributing to the Thrift Savings Plan decreased by about 5,000 in November. -Renee Wilder, the board’s director of research and strategic planning said an increase in separations, financial hardship withdrawals and the fact that employees are hitting their contribution limits have contributed to a decrease in participation. Employees who take out a hardship withdrawal cannot contribute to their TSP accounts for 6 months. The…

Obama signs tobacco bill containing TSP provisions

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President Barack Obama today signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which contains several major overhauls to the government’s Thrift Savings Plan retirement program. The TSP overhaul will: Create a Roth option, which will allow TSP participants to pay taxes on money they invest in the program and make tax-free withdrawals in retirement years later. The Roth option is expected to mostly benefit military service members. Automatically enroll all new civilian federal employees in the TSP’s G Fund. Military service members will not be automatically enrolled. Allow new enrollees to receive automatic matching contributions from their agency right…

House to vote on TSP, sick leave bill

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Update: HR 1804 passed by a unanimous voice vote today. It will now head to the Senate, which is expected to consider the bill as part of the larger tobacco bill. Original post: The House is preparing to vote on a bill containing several provisions affecting federal employees this afternoon. HR 1804, the Federal Retirement Reform Act, would: Automatically enroll all new employees in the Thrift Savings Plan’s G Fund. The Pentagon would decide on its own whether new military service members would be automatically enrolled. Create a Roth 401(k) option in the TSP. Allow the board governing the TSP to…