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Announcements

This is a reminder that agencies should NOT accept completed TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary, forms from employees. All TSP-3s should be sent directly to the TSP’s Service Bureau at Thrift Savings Plan, P.O. Box 38502, Birmingham, AL 35238, or faxed to 1-866-817-5023, not filed in employee eOPFs.

If the TSP Service Bureau has a valid Form TSP-3 on file on or before the date of the participant’s death, the TSP will use the form to identify the participant’s beneficiary(ies) and disburse the death benefit payments from his or her TSP account(s). If the TSP Service Bureau does not have a valid TSP-3 on file, the death benefit payment will be paid by Statutory Order of Precedence (SOP) as listed on the TSP-3 form.

The TSP recently released Bulletin 19-5, Introduction of the Spillover Method for Catch-Up Contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan. Beginning with the first pay period of calendar year 2021, the TSP plans to switch to the “spillover” method for catch-up contributions for all active participants turning age 50 or older (civilian and uniformed services). This new approach will simplify the catch-up process:

  • Participants turning age 50 and older will no longer need to make a separate catch-up election. Once they reach the elective deferral limit (EDL), their regular contributions will automatically spill over toward the catch-up contribution limit.
  • Payroll offices will no longer need to send catch-up contributions on separate payroll records. For participants turning 50 or older, contributions toward the EDL and the catch-up limit will use the same record. This will not pose any issues for tax reporting as the two are already combined on participant W-2s.
  • For eligible members of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and the Blended Retirement System (BRS), contributions “spilling over” toward the catch-up limit will be matched up to the 5% of basic pay to which participants are currently entitled. In other words, spillover will help prevent people from missing out on what they’re already eligible to receive.

In addition to making it significantly easier for participants to make catch-up contributions, spillover will simplify some payroll processes, such as streamlining payroll records, reducing the burden of tracking how close catch-up-eligible participants are to the EDL, and eliminating some errors.

Bulletin 19-5 provides additional details about the program so that agency and service payroll offices, HR personnel, and electronic payroll systems can begin preparing for the transition.

Clarification of TSP Bulletin 19-1, Effect of the retroactive pay increase on the Thrift Savings Plan – In the guidance we provided in Bulletin 19-1, we indicated that if you need to submit contributions associated with the retroactive pay increase, you should do so on current payment records (12 or 16-Record) using the current pay date. We have been notified by some agencies that certain limitations may prevent them from submitting the contributions in this way. If it is not possible for you to submit these contributions on current payment records using the current pay date, you may use the “as of” date instead. But note that using the “as of” date for these contributions could result in breakage. Payroll offices can contact Agency Technical Services (ATS) for clarification or with questions.

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Archived announcements

  • For TSP participants affected by Hurricanes Florence or Michael last year, the deadline has passed for the TSP to waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal. The deadline was March 5, 2019.

    Government Reopening: Missed TSP contributions and loan payments - When you submit back pay, please ensure that all employee contributions, agency contributions, and loan payments are made for the period of pay missed during the shutdown. You should submit contributions on late payment records. Make sure the “as of” date for all contributions and loan payments is the date the payment should have been made. If your payroll system does not deduct loan payments from back pay, you will need to inform your employees to submit their loan payments directly to the TSP using the Loan Payment Coupon. Note, if you need to make corrections to the payroll file later, please be aware that if the corrected payroll record is more than 30 days from the “as of date,” breakage will automatically be calculated. Payroll offices can contact Agency Technical Services (ATS) for clarification or with questions.

    Government Shutdown: TSP Contributions and Loan Payments – The following provides preliminary guidance based on the information currently available. We will update our announcements as we receive new information.

    Contributions and loan payments. Legislation has passed that awards back pay to furloughed employees once the shutdown is over. Note, agencies will need to submit the missed TSP contributions and loan payments on separate payment records for each missed pay period and not include all on one payment record. We will announce soon the correct payroll record to submit these contributions.

    Contributions and breakage. Under the existing regulations (5 CFR section 1605.13(b)), TSP contributions resulting from back pay are subject to breakage. Breakage is the loss incurred or the gain realized on late and makeup contributions. However, agencies will only be subject to breakage if the payroll file is posted 31 or more days after the “as of” date for the missed contributions. Due to the expected volume of agency submissions, it may take us 2-5 business days to process the files once we receive them.

    Loans and breakage. Be aware agencies may be liable for breakage on loan payments that are posted 31 or more days after the “as of” date.

    Loans. At this time, agencies should not submit Form TSP-41, Notification to TSP of Nonpay Status. Should this change we will update our announcements. Participants who have outstanding loans and miss one or two payments will not be immediately affected if payments were up to date when the furlough began. We identify loans that are behind by more than 2.5 payments at the end of each quarter. The next time we will identify participants whose loans are at least 2.5 payments behind is scheduled for the end of March 2019. At that time, those affected will be notified and will have until the end of June 2019 to make up missed payments.

    As more information is available, we will provide additional guidance on how agencies should submit payroll files to avoid errors to participant contributions and to ensure that participants with loans are not negatively affected.

  • The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricanes Florence or Michael: As of December 4, 2018, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. The participant’s residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricanes Florence or Michael. OR
    2. The participant’s hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricanes Florence or Michael.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request. This form can be requested by calling the toll-free ThriftLine at 1-877-968-3778
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant must write “Hurricane Florence” or “Hurricane Michael” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by March 5, 2019 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before March 15, 2019. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after March 5, 2019 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-1 file or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricanes Florence or Michael: As of December 4, 2018, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. The participant’s residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricanes Florence or Michael.
      OR
    2. The participant’s hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricanes Florence or Michael.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request. This form can be requested by calling the toll-free ThriftLine at 1-877-968-3778
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant must write “Hurricane Florence” or “Hurricane Michael” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by March 5, 2019 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before March 15, 2019. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after March 5, 2019 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-U-1 file or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    The TSP is planning adjustments to the Lifecycle (L) Funds in an effort to improve outcomes for participants who invest in them. Effective in January 2019, we will increase exposure to international stocks (the I Fund) from 30% to 35% in all L Funds. The L Income Fund stock allocation (C, S, and I Funds combined) will increase from 20% to 30% over a period of up to 10 years. The total stock allocation for the L 2030, L 2040, and L 2050 Funds will hold steady for a period of years to facilitate transition to the L 2060 Fund when it is introduced in 2020. Finally, at that time, the L 2060 Fund will begin with a 99% stock allocation. As needed, we will update TSP publications to reflect these changes.

    Uniformed services participants who opted into the Blended Retirement System (BRS) and did not have a TSP account prior to opting in should visit their service’s payroll system to make a contribution election. Once a member opts in, the service creates a TSP account for him or her and begins making Service Automatic (1%) Contributions. However, any service member who didn’t already have a TSP account will need to go into the payroll system and select the percentage of pay to contribute to his or her TSP account in order to start making employee contributions and receive Service Matching Contributions.

    Participants can complete Form TSP-U-1 file if they cannot access their payroll system.

    For TSP participants affected by Hurricane Maria or the California wildfires last year, the deadline has passed for the TSP to waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal. The deadline was March 8, 2018.

    For TSP participants affected by Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma last year, the deadline has passed for the TSP to waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal. The deadline was January 24, 2018.

    The TSP has created an onboarding video and a complementary one-page information sheet titled “Welcome to the TSP!” which are designed to educate new federal employees about the TSP. These two products are part of the Agency Communications and Education (ACE) toolkit designed to assist agencies in their efforts to educate employees on the benefits of TSP participation. You can find the video and one-pager along with posters created for the ACE toolkit at tsp.gov in the Information for Agency/Service Representatives section by visiting the Media gallery.

    The Thrift Savings Plan has created a new video called “The TSP for BRS Members: What’s It All About?” to give an overview of the Thrift Savings Plan to uniformed services members covered by the new Blended Retirement System (BRS). Beginning January 1, 2018, all new members of the uniformed services will be enrolled in BRS. Members with fewer than 12 years of service by December 31, 2017, are also eligible to enroll in the new system.

    The Thrift Savings Plan created a second new video called “The TSP for Non-BRS Members: What’s It All About? ” Along with the new video for members covered by Blended Retirement System (BRS), this video replaces the “The TSP: What’s It All About (Uniformed Services),” which was posted on 7/30/13. It provides an overview of the TSP for those who were not eligible or chose not to opt into BRS.

    Those who are eligible for BRS and have not decided whether to join should see the video “Opting into the Blended Retirement System (BRS) ” and the fact sheet Questions and Answers about Opting into the Blended Retirement System (BRS). The new video and others designed to educate members on the TSP can be found at youtube.com/tsp4gov .

  • The TSP has created a TSP-3 wizard available at www.tsp.gov. It is located on the “My Account” page under “Personal Information” via the link titled “Beneficiaries.” This wizard helps participants and beneficiaries designate or change their beneficiary information if they desire a distribution other than the statutory order of precedence. The wizard populates the TSP-3 with the information that participants enter and helps them to avoid common mistakes that could cause the form to reject. Upon completion, participants should print the form and submit it to the TSP by mail or fax.

    Form TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary, has been revised, and the 05/2017 version is available for download from the TSP website. Earlier editions of the form are obsolete. Agencies that maintain an inventory of TSP forms should destroy or recycle previous editions of the form. Agencies that make forms available electronically should take down obsolete editions. Participants who prefer completing the paper version of the form should download and print the form from the TSP website at the time they need it to ensure they are submitting a current, valid version.

    The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by the recent wildfires in California: As of November 6, 2017, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. The participant’s primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of the California wildfires.
      OR
    2. The participant’s hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of the California wildfires.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
    • The participant must write “California wildfires” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by March 8, 2018 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before March 15, 2018. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after March 8, 2018 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-1 or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by the recent wildfires in California: As of November 6, 2017, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. The participant’s primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of the California wildfires.
      OR
    2. The participant’s hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of the California wildfires.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
    • The participant must write “California wildfires” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by March 8, 2018 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before March 15, 2018. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after March 8, 2018 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete TSP-U-1 or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricane Maria: As of October 4, 2017, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. The participant’s primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Maria.
      OR
    2. The participant’s hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Irma.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
    • The participant must write “Hurricane Maria” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by January 24, 2018 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before January 31, 2018. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after January 24, 2018 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-1 or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricane Maria: As of October 4, 2017, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. The participant’s primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Maria.
      OR
    2. The participant’s hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Irma.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
    • The participant must write “Hurricane Maria” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by January 24, 2018 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before January 31, 2018. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after January 24, 2018 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete TSP-U-1 or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has issued proposed regulations for the implementation of the Blended Retirement System (BRS) as authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act for FY16, Public Law 114-92. These regulations address (1) automatic enrollment rules for BRS participants (2) timing and vesting rules for Service contributions (3) default investment rules for members of the uniformed services and (4) other administrative matters.

    The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricane Irma: As of September 13, 2017, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. The participant’s primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Irma.
      OR
    2. The participant’s hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Irma.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
    • The participant must write “Hurricane Irma” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by January 24, 2018 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before January 31, 2018. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after January 24, 2018 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-1 or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricane Irma: As of September 13, 2017, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. The participant’s primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Irma.
      OR
    2. The participant’s hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Irma.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
    • The participant must write “Hurricane Irma” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by January 24, 2018 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before January 31, 2018. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after January 24, 2018 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete TSP-U-1 or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricane Harvey: As of September 1, 2017, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. The participant’s primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
      OR</br>
    2. The participant’s hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
    • The participant must write “Hurricane Harvey” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by January 24, 2018 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before January 31, 2018. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after January 24, 2018 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-1 or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricane Harvey: As of September 1, 2017, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. The participant’s primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
      OR</br>
    2. The participant’s hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
    • The participant must write “Hurricane Harvey” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by January 24, 2018 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before January 31, 2018. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after January 24, 2018 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-U-1 or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    TSP participants may now reset their passwords online. Participants who forget or lose their password can go to the My Account section of tsp.gov and reset it. On the My Account login page, they can click on “Forgot your password?” and follow the prompts. For participants who know their password and want to change it, they can log into My Account, visit “Profile Settings,” and click on “Change Your Password.” Participants may also call the ThriftLine at 1-877-968-3778, Monday – Friday, 7am – 9pm EST and press option 3 to speak to a Participant Service Representative.

    Payroll and Human Resource Specialists,

    The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is conducting a brief survey to determine how well we are doing and how we can best support you. Your feedback will help us create training sessions that are relevant to your needs, and implement ways to make our sessions more convenient for you to attend, either remotely or in person.

    Please click here to complete the survey: http://www.questionpro.com/t/ALKFtZaHDG. The survey will take you approximately 10 minutes to complete, and will close on August 5, 2017.

    If you have any questions about this survey please contact us at training@tsp.gov. Thank you for helping us serve you better.

    Sincerely,

    The Thrift Savings Plan Training and Education Team

    The TSP is providing two new sources of information—a fact sheet and a video—about the new Blended Retirement System (BRS) to be implemented on January 1, 2018. The information is meant to help members of the uniformed services who will have fewer than 12 years of service on December 31, 2017, decide whether to opt into BRS or stay with their current system. See the fact sheet Questions and Answers about Opting into the Blended Retirement System (BRS) and the video “Opting into the Blended Retirement System (BRS).”

    Form TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary, has been revised, and the 05/2017 version is available for download from the TSP website in the Forms & Publications section. Agencies that maintain an inventory of TSP forms should destroy or recycle previous editions of the form. Agencies that make forms available electronically should take down earlier editions. The revisions to Form TSP-3 are as follows:

    1. Only one witness signature is required. The same witness must sign and date all pages of the form including all copies made for additional primary and contingent beneficiaries.
    2. The form now allows for up to 8 primary beneficiaries. Page 1 of the form now allows for up to 3 primary beneficiaries. Page 2 of the form provides space for an additional 5 beneficiaries. Copies of a blank page 2, “Primary Beneficiaries,” can be made if the participant wishes to designate more than 8 primary beneficiaries.
    3. Page 3 of the form now allows for up to 4 contingent beneficiaries. Copies of a blank page 3, “Contingent Beneficiaries,” can be made if the participant wishes to designate more than 4 contingent beneficiaries.
    4. TSP has made the address fields for the primary and contingent beneficiaries free-form for ease of completing the form.
    5. The new form emphasizes that participants who would like their TSP accounts to be distributed according to the statutory order of precedence should not complete the TSP-3.

    For TSP participants affected by Hurricane Matthew last year, the deadline has passed for the TSP to waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal. The deadline was March 8, 2017.

    For TSP participants affected by the summer storms and flooding in Louisiana last year, the deadline has passed for the TSP to waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal. The deadline was January 10, 2017.

  • The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricane Matthew: As of October 25, 2016, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. Your primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Matthew.
      OR</br>
    2. Your hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
    • The participant must write “Hurricane Matthew” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of your request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by March 8, 2017 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before March 15, 2017. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after March 15, 2017 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-1 or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricane Matthew: As of October 25, 2016, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. Your primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Matthew.
      OR</br>
    2. Your hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
    • The participant must write “Hurricane Matthew” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of your request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by March 8, 2017 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before March 15, 2017. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after March 15, 2017 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-U-1 or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by the recent storms in Louisiana: As of September 2, 2016, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. The participant’s primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of the recent Louisiana storms.
      OR</br>
    2. The participant’s hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of the recent Louisiana storms.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
    • The participant must write “Louisiana Storms” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by January 10, 2017 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before January 17, 2017. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after January 10, 2017 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-1 or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

    The TSP has made a temporary change to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by the recent storms in Louisiana: As of September 2, 2016, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following is true:

    1. The participant’s primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of the recent Louisiana storms.
      OR</br>
    2. The participant’s hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of the recent Louisiana storms.

    IN ADDITION, the participant must also meet all of the following requirements:

    • The participant must be actively employed with the federal government.
    • The participant must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
    • The participant must write “Louisiana Storms” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
    • The participant must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
    • The participant request must be received in our office by January 10, 2017 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, the distribution must occur before January 17, 2017. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after January 10, 2017 will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and the participant’s TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

    If the participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-U-1 or use the applicable automated system.

    This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change.

  • The Thrift Savings Plan has launched the “Stay” campaign to highlight the benefits of staying with the TSP after leaving federal service. In addition to a special poster for distribution at federal agencies and services, we’ve created an interactive website. The site includes two educational videos, a special leaflet, and questions participants might have for other financial institutions. While each individual’s situation is different and should be considered when making this decision, our goal is to help provide the tools participants need to make the best choice for themselves.

    To learn more, visit tsp.gov/staywithus

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has released a new publication, Guidance for Choosing Financial Education Vendors. This publication will help Agency Benefits Officers distinguish between vendors that offer unconflicted financial education and those that might use your events to recruit clients or promote product sales. It also includes draft language for your solicitations, contracts, and agreements for financial education services

    The TSP has retired Form TSP-U-17, Information Relating to Deceased Participant, formerly used to report the death of a uniformed services participant to the TSP. Effective March 14th, 2015, Form TSP-17 (civilian) and TSP-U-17 (uniformed services) have been consolidated into a single TSP-17. The combined form supersedes all prior versions of Forms TSP-17 and TSP-U-17 with dates prior to March 2015, and all previous versions of either form should be discarded.

    As with previous versions, Form TSP-17 should be submitted directly to the TSP. Only one Form TSP-17 needs to be submitted on behalf of a deceased participant, even if multiple beneficiaries are involved or when the deceased participant had multiple TSP accounts (e.g. civilian, uniformed services, and/or BPA accounts).

    Form TSP-75, Age-Based In-Service Withdrawal Request, and Form TSP-77, Request for Partial Withdrawal When Separated, have been revised, and the 2/2015 versions are available for download from the TSP website. Earlier editions of the forms are obsolete. Agencies that maintain an inventory of TSP forms should destroy or recycle previous editions of the form. Agencies that make forms available electronically should remove obsolete editions.

    We strongly recommend that participants use the withdrawal wizards available at tsp.gov under “My Account: Online Transactions” to complete and print their withdrawal requests. Participants who prefer completing the paper version of the form should download and print the form from the TSP website at the time they need it to ensure they are submitting a current, valid version.

  • The TSP is pleased to announce the launch of its Twitter account @tsp4gov. Follow us to get current, informative messages as well as quick and easy access to helpful tools and videos that will help you make smart decisions about your TSP account.

    TSP Guidance for the 2013 Government Shutdown

    General Rule for Pay Period 22:
    If an employee is eligible to receive full pay for pay period 22, regardless of furlough, civilian payroll offices should submit all Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contributions using the applicable Current Payment Record(s). If the payroll office is unable to process TSP contributions for the full pay period 22, follow the guidelines for pay period 21 outlined below.

    Retroactive Contributions Associated With Pay Period 21:
    Civilian payroll offices should use the following guidance when submitting TSP contributions for retroactive pay associated with pay period 21. Contributions must be submitted for each individual affected pay date, using the applicable Late Payment Record(s):

    • Civilian Late Payment Record — 46;
    • Roth Late Payment Record — 42;
    • Catch-up Contributions — Late Payment Record - 88; and/or
    • Roth Catch-up Contributions — Late Payment Record - 84.

    The “as of” date must be completed to show the pay date for which the contributions should have been made.<-

    Breakage:
    If the retroactive contribution(s) and/or Loan payment(s) are processed within 30 days of the original pay date, breakage will not be calculated. Similar to current contributions, these contributions will be posted to a participant’s account based upon the participant’s contribution allocation and relevant share price(s) on the posting date, 5 CFR § 1605.15(c).

    Special Situations:
    Many agencies, because of the shutdown, will have at least one divided pay period. For example, several payroll offices have paid many of their employees for the first 5½ days of pay period 21, and the remaining 4½ days will be part of the retroactive pay. In this situation, if an employee’s election for pay period 21 was a whole dollar amount and his or her TSP contributions were submitted with pay received during the first 5½ days, the payroll office must ensure that the attributable agency contributions (Agency Automatic (1%) and Agency Matching Contributions) for the 4½ days of retroactive pay are also submitted to the TSP.

    In a situation when the whole dollar amount elected was greater than the resulting pay after all mandatory deductions for both the first 5½ days of pay period 21 and again for the 4½ days of retroactive pay, no TSP employee contributions would have been submitted. In this case the agency must give the employee the opportunity to make up the TSP contribution for pay period 21 in accordance with 5 CFR § 1605.11(c).

    If the employee election was a whole percentage of basic pay, the agency payroll office should have submitted TSP contributions for the first 5½ days of pay period 21 using the elected percentage of basic pay, and must submit TSP contributions again using the elected percentage of basic pay for the retroactive 4½ days.

    Makeup Contributions Not Associated With The 2013 Government Shutdown:
    (i.e. Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994): For example, a uniformed service member was Absent - Uniformed Service for pay period 16 for 2012. He or she is currently doing make up employee contributions to his or her federal civilian TSP account. For makeup contributions that were not submitted due to the 2013 government shutdown, two separate payment records must be submitted. The first must be a late payment record for the makeup contribution with the “as of” date on which the makeup contribution should have been submitted during the 2013 government shutdown. The second must be a late or current payment record with the original “as of” date for the attributable agency contributions (pay period 16 for 2012). This is to ensure that breakage is not paid on employee makeup contributions retroactive to the original attributable pay date (pay period 16 for 2012).

    Loan Payments:
    When submitting TSP loan payments for the retroactive pay associated with pay period 21, each loan payment must be submitted for each individual effected pay date with the corresponding “as of” date indicated on the Loan Payment Record - L6.

    To answer questions about TSP participation in the event of a Federal Government shutdown, the TSP has published the fact sheet, Impact of a Government Shutdown on the Thrift Savings Plan. The fact sheet also emphasizes that agencies and services should not submit Form TSP-41, Notification to TSP of Nonpay Status, in the event that a government shutdown should occur.

    Form TSP-70, Request for Full Withdrawal, has been revised, and the 6/2013 version is available for download from the TSP website. Earlier editions of the form are obsolete. Agencies that maintain an inventory of TSP forms should destroy or recycle previous editions of the form. Agencies that make forms available electronically should take down obsolete editions.

    We strongly recommend that participants use the withdrawal wizard available at www.tsp.gov under “My Account: Online Transactions” to complete and print their withdrawal requests. Participants who prefer completing the paper version of the form should download and print the form from the TSP website at the time they need it to ensure they are submitting a current, valid version.

    April is Financial Literacy Month. The TSP supports this nationwide initiative that emphasizes the importance of smart money management. See Bulletin 13-2. A special poster file is attached to the bulletin and is available to all federal agencies for distribution and posting.

    April is Financial Literacy Month. The TSP supports this nationwide initiative that emphasizes the importance of smart money management. See Bulletin 13-U-2. A special poster file is attached to the bulletin and is available to all federal agencies for distribution and posting.

    Our new fact sheet Sequestration and Your TSP Account provides answers to some of the questions that participants may have about the impact of a furlough on their TSP contributions. It also discusses alternatives for accessing TSP funds should a participant face significant financial hardship as a result of a furlough.

    The deadline has passed for “Hurricane Sandy” related financial hardship withdrawal requests. Previously, the TSP made temporary changes to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricane Sandy. These changes allowed participants who were affected by Hurricane Sandy or who had a family member affected by Hurricane Sandy to take a hardship withdrawal and to continue making TSP contributions in the 6-month period after the hardship withdrawal. Participant requests must have been received by January 25, 2013 with distributions occurring by February 1, 2013.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board invites members of the uniformed services to join us for an exclusive webcast, Roth TSP for Uniformed Service Members, Part II at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, January 17, 2013.

    This presentation will follow up on the webinar of the same title recorded on December 19, 2012. Panelists from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board will review the basics of the new Roth TSP option, and then address the many questions that uniformed services members submitted during the December program. The discussion will include the limits on contributions, the differences between Roth TSP and Roth IRAs, transferring Roth balances into and out of the TSP, and the rules for qualified withdrawals. The information is intended to help uniformed services members make decisions about participating in the Roth TSP.

    Since the questions for this discussion have been pre-selected from those submitted during the December webinar, the panel will not be responding to new questions.

    The deadline for registration has passed.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board invites members of the uniformed services to join us for an exclusive webinar, Roth TSP for Uniformed Services Members, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, December 19, 2012.

    This presentation will explain how the new Roth TSP option applies to members of the uniformed services. A panel from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board will explain the basics of the new Roth TSP option, how Roth balances will be treated within the account, what conditions must be satisfied in order to enjoy tax-free treatment of withdrawals, and how to get started. The panelists will also highlight some of the major differences between Roth TSP, traditional tax-deferred TSP, and Roth IRAs, and will answer selected questions from attendees. The information is intended to help members of the uniformed services make decisions about participating in the Roth TSP.

    The deadline for registration has passed.

    We have made temporary changes to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricane Sandy. These changes allow participants who were affected by Hurricane Sandy or who had a family member affected by Hurricane Sandy to take a hardship withdrawal and to continue making TSP contributions in the 6-month period after the hardship withdrawal.

    As of November 21, 2012, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request (Form TSP-76) as a qualifying hardship provided the participant meets all of the following criteria:

    1. Participant’s primary residence or place of employment must be located in a covered disaster area, and he or she must have incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

    OR

    Participant’s hardship withdrawal request will be used to assist an [eligible family member]((/exit/?idx=29) who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

    1. In addition, all of the following requirements must also be met:
      • Participant must be actively employed with the Federal Government.
      • Participant must write “Hurricane Sandy” on the top of page 1 of Form TSP-76.
      • Participant must check the “Personal Casualty” box on page 2 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
      • Participant request must be received by January 25, 2013 and the distribution must occur before February 1, 2013.

    We will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal. If a participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-1, Election Form or use the applicable automated system.

    The previously described rule changes are not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply.

    We have made temporary changes to the financial hardship withdrawal rules for participants affected by Hurricane Sandy. These changes allow participants who were affected by Hurricane Sandy or who had a family member affected by Hurricane Sandy to take a hardship withdrawal and to continue making TSP contributions in the 6-month period after the hardship withdrawal.

    As of November 21, 2012, we will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request (Form TSP-76) as a qualifying hardship provided the participant meets all of the following criteria:

    1. Participant’s primary residence or place of employment must be located in a covered disaster area, and he or she must have incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

    OR

    Participant’s hardship withdrawal request will be used to assist an [eligible family member]((/exit/?idx=29) who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

    1. In addition, all of the following requirements must also be met:
      • Participant must be actively employed with the Federal Government.
      • Participant must write “Hurricane Sandy” on the top of page 1 of Form TSP-76.
      • Participant must check the “Personal Casualty” box on page 2 of the request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
      • Participant request must be received by January 25, 2013 and the distribution must occur before February 1, 2013.

    We will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal. If a participant wants to stop TSP contributions, he or she must complete Form TSP-U-1, Election Form or use the applicable automated system.

    The previously described rule changes are not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply.

    We learned from OPM that it will be moving to a two character, alphanumeric retirement code. OPM is still in the process of finalizing the specific coding scheme and hopes to publish the new codes by the end of the month. The TSP will program fields 239 and 240 of its Employee data (06) records to accept these new codes. If OPM keeps the existing codes and simply adds new codes for FERS-Revised Annuity Employees, the TSP will continue to use field 227 for currently existing codes. Agencies should prepare to submit the new codes to the TSP with their first payroll submissions in January 2013. The TSP will issue a bulletin explaining the changes in greater detail once OPM publishes its coding scheme. The TSP will also amend its reports to reflect the new codes. As always, once the updates to the TSP data record and corresponding reports is complete, agency payroll offices may contact ATS to coordinate the submission of their test files.

    Join the FRTIB on Wednesday, September 12, at 1:00 p.m., Eastern time, for an exclusive webinar, “Roth TSP for H.R. Professionals.”

    This presentation will explain the new Roth TSP option. The presenters will explain how Roth contribution elections are made, how Roth balances will be treated within the account, and what conditions must be satisfied in order to enjoy tax-free treatment of withdrawals. The program will also highlight some of the major differences between Roth TSP, traditional tax-deferred TSP, and Roth IRAs, and will include a preview of the soon-to-be-released video, “Is Roth Right for Me?” The information is intended to prepare human resources professionals to answer basic employee questions about the mechanics of Roth TSP.

    The deadline for registration has passed.

    Due to the limitation on the number of registrants, participation in this event is only being offered to agency and service TSP representatives, payroll professionals, and uniformed services financial counselors. Rest assured, however, that a considerable amount of Roth-related information is available to all our TSP participants, and even more is on the way.

    In July of 2011, a computer belonging to Serco, a third party service provider used in support of the TSP, was subjected to a sophisticated hacking incident resulting in unauthorized access to the personal information of 123,201 TSP participants and payees. In April of 2012, the FRTIB and Serco were informed of the unauthorized access incident by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). When the FRTIB learned of the cyber attack, we took immediate steps to investigate and notify our participants and other affected individuals.

    The FRTIB is mailing notifications letters to everyone whose personal information was in the affected files. The notice contains information about signing up for credit monitoring services as well as other steps that can be taken to protect personal information.

    The FRTIB has issued a press release and has published a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) containing more detailed information about this incident.

    • In April 2012, the FRTIB and Serco, a third party service provider used in support of the TSP, were informed of an unauthorized access incident by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We were informed that in July of 2011, a computer belonging to Serco was subjected to a sophisticated hacking incident resulting in unauthorized access to the personal information of approximately 123,201 TSP participants and payees.
    • Several files with different combinations of data of approximately 123,201 individuals were accessed.

      The names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of roughly 43,000 individuals were in the accessed files. In some cases, this group of data also included financial account numbers and routing numbers.

      Another group of roughly 80,000 had their Social Security numbers and some TSP-related information accessed, but their name was not associated with this information.

    • First, on May 25th, we sent notification letters to everyone whose personal information was in the affected files. The FRTIB and our service provider have been working to avoid future incidents. Steps taken include an immediate shutdown of the compromised computer, a response team that is conducting a systemwide review of all computer security procedures, and further enhanced computer security.
    • The TSP does not have any evidence that any personal information has been used or is being misused or disclosed to other persons.
    • We have no reason to believe that the data has been misused. Further, we have notified all individuals whose personal information was affected. We have engaged Kroll Inc., a risk consulting company, to provide its ID TheftSmart™ service for one year to the affected individuals. Among other features, this service offers credit consultation and continuous credit monitoring throughout the length of the service. We also have suggested steps that affected individuals can take to protect themselves. For additional information about identity theft, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website at http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft.
    • Yes. The TSP mailed out letters to all affected participants offering them free credit monitoring service for one year as an additional safeguard against identity theft. The ID TheftSmart™ service is administered through Kroll, Inc., a risk consulting company.

      In addition to providing instructions for enrolling in ID TheftSmart™ online or by telephone, we also provided a separate, paper enrollment form for the benefit of those participants who lack internet access or prefer to enroll by mail. The authorization form asks for personal information as a condition of enrollment. This is a necessary precaution and the request is legitimate. Nevertheless, the TSP strongly encourages participants to register for the service online if possible, where all personal information will be transmitted by secure servers.

    • Yes. The TSP mailed out letters to all affected participants offering them free credit monitoring service for one year as an additional safeguard against identity theft. The ID TheftSmart™ service is administered through Kroll, Inc., a risk consulting company.

      No. The TSP has hired Kroll, Inc. to provide free credit monitoring services through its ID TheftSmart™ service to affected TSP participants. The TSP is not selling any services or recommending that any participant purchase any services from any company.

    • Yes. There is no indication that the TSP network itself was subjected to unauthorized access. Rather, it was a Serco computer that was subject to a cyber attack. </li> </ul>

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has implemented the Roth TSP feature effective May 7, 2012, as authorized by the Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2009, Public Law 111-31. As a result the Election Forms (regular and catch-up contributions) were modified to allow for both traditional and Roth contributions. Agencies that are currently unable to submit Roth contributions to the TSP must inform their employees to leave the dollar and percentage amount in the Roth contribution columns blank until the agency notifies its employees that they is ready to begin accepting Roth contributions. All in-service and post-separation withdrawal forms have been changed to accommodate withdrawing both traditional and Roth balances. They have also been consolidated for use by both civilian and uniformed service participants. Bulletins highlighting the changes and new requirements for contribution elections, in-service withdrawals, and post-separation withdrawals are available on the TSP website under the Agency Rep Bulletins section. All contribution election forms and withdrawal forms with dates prior to April 2012 are now obsolete and must be immediately discarded (recycled). These forms will not be processed by the TSP after June 1, 2012. The TSP has also updated the majority of the publications effected by the Roth TSP and they are now available on the TSP website. Agencies can order these publications through their distribution channels. TSP Bulletin 12-18, Participation in the Thrift Savings Plan, incorporates the changes in eligibility and participation that are provided in Public Law 111-31, to include agency responsibilities when participants elect to contribute to the Roth TSP.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has announced the official implementation date of Roth TSP, May 7, 2012. Agencies and services can begin accepting elections for Roth contributions at that time. See Bulletin 12-9 for Information regarding the Roth implementation date.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has announced the official implementation date of Roth TSP, May 7, 2012. Agencies and services can begin accepting elections for Roth contributions at that time. See Bulletin Bulletin 12-U-8for Information regarding the Roth implementation date.

    April is Financial Literacy Month. The TSP supports this nationwide initiative that emphasizes the importance of smart money management. Executive Director Greg Long’s letter discusses the new Roth option that will soon be available from the TSP. See Bulletin 12-8. A special poster is attached to the bulletin and is available to all federal agencies for distribution and posting.

    April is Financial Literacy Month. The TSP supports this nationwide initiative that emphasizes the importance of smart money management. Executive Director Greg Long’s letter discusses the new Roth option that will soon be available from the TSP. See Bulletin 12-U-7. A special poster is attached to the bulletin and is available to all federal agencies for distribution and posting.

    The TSP supports America Saves Week and Military Saves Week both of which begin February 19 and continue through February 26, 2012. Both campaigns focus on encouraging individuals and families to reduce debt and save and invest for both short and long term financial goals including retirement. See Bulletin 12-4 that addresses the week-long event and the TSP’s support of it. A special poster highlighting the upcoming Roth TSP, “A New Way to Save,” is attached to the bulletin and available to all federal agencies for distribution and posting.

    The TSP supports America Saves Week and Military Saves Week both of which begin February 19 and continue through February 26, 2012. Both campaigns focus on encouraging individuals and families to reduce debt and save and invest for both short and long term financial goals including retirement. See Bulletin 12-U-4 that addresses the week-long event and the TSP’s support of it. A special poster highlighting the upcoming Roth TSP, “A New Way to Save,” is attached to the bulletin and available to all federal agencies for distribution and posting.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has issued proposed regulations for the implementation of the Roth TSP feature as authorized by the Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2009, Public Law 111-31. These regulations address (1) Roth contribution limits (2) withdrawal options (3) treatment of agency contributions (4) Roth TSP transfer rules from employer plans (5) distribution of loans and withdrawals when participants have both traditional and Roth balances, and (6) other administrative matters.

    We are pleased to announce the publication of the TSP’s Fall 2011 poster “Build a Strong Retirement” and the Spring 2011 poster “Time is Money”.

    The TSP will issue a supply of posters to all agency central distribution points. These will arrive shortly. Please contact your authorized agency representative to order print versions of these materials. Materials cannot be ordered directly from the TSP. The poster does not have an expiration date and can be displayed beginning immediately.

    To answer questions about TSP participation in the event of a Federal Government shutdown, the TSP has published the fact sheet, Impact of a Government Shutdown on the Thrift Savings Plan. The fact sheet also emphasizes that agencies and services should not submit Form TSP-41 (or U-41), Notification to TSP of Nonpay Status, in the event that a government shutdown should occur. The fact sheet is available as a link from the Bulletin Board on the TSP website home page.

    We are pleased to announce the publication of the TSP’s Fall 2010 poster “Will your numbers add up to a worry-free future?” In the current economy, this is a way to encourage participants to continue to contribute and build their TSP savings to reach their investment objectives.

    The TSP will issue a supply of posters to all agency central distribution points. These will arrive shortly. Please contact your authorized agency representative to order print versions of these materials. Materials cannot be ordered directly from the TSP. The poster does not have an expiration date and can be displayed beginning immediately.

    TSP Bulletin 10-13, Implementation of Roth Thrift Savings Plan Contributions, has been issued. This bulletin provides the instructions agencies will need to implement the Roth TSP contribution feature of the Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2009, Public Law 111.31. The uniformed services version of this bulletin is pending and will be released shortly.

    The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) has developed another new leaflet-“You wouldn’t do this. Would you?”-to continue its focus on FERS participants who are not contributing their own money to their TSP accounts and not receiving Agency Matching Contributions. The target group includes all noncontributing FERS participants hired up to July 31, 2010, as well as those who have been automatically enrolled in the TSP since August 1, 2010, but who have elected to stop their automatic contributions. It encourages these participants to begin to save for their retirement early and avoid letting FREE MONEY go up in flames by not taking advantage of Agency Matching Contributions.

    The TSP mailed the leaflets directly to approximately 352,000 noncontributing FERS employees in late September 2010. Along with the leaflet, the mailing included a special letter from the Executive Director of the FRTIB, and a copy of Form TSP-1 to encourage immediate action. (Both the letter and the leaflet explain that some agencies require an electronic election.) The leaflet is not available for agencies to order through the TSP forms distribution system, nor will there be a corresponding bulletin.

    TSP Bulletin 10-U-6 Consolidation of Forms TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary (Civilian), and TSP-U-3, Designation of Beneficiary (Uniformed Services), has been issued. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has combined TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary (Civilian), and TSP-U-3, Designation of Beneficiary (Uniformed Services), into a single Form TSP-3. This bulletin explains why the forms were consolidated and how the TSP will apply the participant’s Form TSP-3.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (Agency) has published the final regulations for the implementation of the Agency’s automatic enrollment program file that take effect August 1, 2010. These regulations are being published without change and address (1) who will be automatically enrolled; (2) options for newly hired and most rehired Federal employees; (3) the default investment fund; (4) the 90-day refund provision; (5) agency human resource and payroll office requirements (as supplemented by the associated TSP bulletins); and (6) other administrative matters.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (Agency) has published the final changes to its death benefits regulations that take effect August 1, 2010. These regulations will (1) expand the requirements the requirements necessary in order for a designation of beneficiary form to be valid; (2) allow participants holding both a uniformed services and civilian account to submit a single designation of beneficiary form; (3) allow participants to designate a custodian under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act as a beneficiary; (4) permit the Agency to defer to state law when a potential beneficiary is implicated in the death of a participant and is subsequently found not guilty by reason of insanity; and (5) require a notary to witness disclaimers of death benefits.

    TSP Bulletin 10-9 Consolidation of Forms TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary (Civilian), and TSP-U-3, Designation of Beneficiary (Uniformed Services), has been issued. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has combined TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary (Civilian), and TSP-U-3, Designation of Beneficiary (Uniformed Services), into a single Form TSP-3. This bulletin explains why the forms were consolidated and how the TSP will apply the participant’s TSP-3.

    TSP Bulletin 10-8, Revision of Form TSP-19, Transfer of Information Between Agencies, has been issued. This bulletin explains the requirement to transfer TSP enrollment and loan information between agencies. It has been updated to include automatic enrollment, and contains new instructions for completing Form TSP-19.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has issued the draft regulations for the implementation of the Agency’s automatic enrollment program as authorized by the Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2009, Public Law 111-31. These regulations address (1) who will be automatically enrolled; (2) options for newly hired and most rehired Federal employees; (3) the default investment fund; (4) the 90-day refund provision; (5) agency human resource and payroll office requirements (as supplemented by the associated TSP bulletins); and (6) other administrative matters.

    April is Financial Literacy Month, a time to encourage proactive, long-term planning for retirement. A special poster has been made available to all agencies and services in support of this campaign for distribution and posting.

    TSP Bulletin 10-3, Implementation of Automatic Enrollment in the Thrift Savings Plan, has been issued. This bulletin provides the instructions agencies will need to implement the automatic enrollment feature of the Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2009, Public Law 111.31.

    The 2010 Military Saves Week begins on February 21 and continues through February 28. The focus is to encourage individuals and families to reduce debt and increase savings. Executive Director Gregory Longs’s letter addresses the program and the TSP’s role in supporting it. See Bulletin 10-U-2. A special poster is currently available to all federal agencies for distribution and posting.

    Annual TSP participant statements: Over 4.3 million statements have been mailed. The statements provide participants with a summary of the 2009 activity in their TSP accounts, as well as a number of other features, such as their personal rates of return, the amount of their lifetime contributions, the amount that they contributed toward various contribution limits, and their beneficiaries of record. The leaflet How to Read Your Annual Participant Statement helps explain the information on the statement. The mailing also includes a letter from the Executive Director reviewing last year’s TSP activities and discussing upcoming events, as well as a copy of the January/February 2010 Highlights. Those individuals who opted out of receiving mailed annual statements will still receive a mailing that includes all of the enclosures.

    TSP Bulletin 10-3, Implementation of Automatic Enrollment in the Thrift Savings Plan, has been issued. This bulletin provides the instructions agencies will need to implement the automatic enrollment feature of the Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2009, Public Law 111.31.

    The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) has developed a new leaflet, “What’s Stopping You?” The TSP will be mailing the leaflets directly to approximately 365,000 non-contributing FERS employees. The leaflet is included in TSP Bulletin 09-13. You may also download of a copy of the leaflet ONLY.

    TSP Spouse Beneficiary Accounts. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) has implemented interim procedures for spouse beneficiary accounts established under the Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2009. The transition will not be fully complete until 2010, however during the interim period, a deceased participant’s spouse has several options as the beneficiary of the TSP account.

    Once Form TSP-17, Information Relating to Deceased Participant, is received and processed, the TSP will send an interim notice to spouse beneficiaries to inform them that they may leave the designated amount they are entitled to in the TSP. It will remain invested in the G Fund until a TSP account has been established in the spouse’s name. Rather than the account being paid 60 days after the notice is sent, the spouse will have the option of requesting immediate payment by filling out an enclosed form. The form will have to be notarized. The payment can also be transferred to an IRA or other eligible employer plan by filling out a TSP-13-S-D which will also be enclosed with the notice. If the spouse is a TSP participant, they may request that the TSP transfer the spousal account balance to their TSP account. Detailed information regarding the transfer option and taxation rules can be found in the tax notice, “Important Tax Information About TSP Death Benefit Payments” on the TSP website.

    TSP Spouse Beneficiary Accounts. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) has implemented interim procedures for spouse beneficiary accounts established under the Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2009. The transition will not be fully complete until 2010, however during the interim period, a deceased participant’s spouse has several options as the beneficiary of the TSP account.

    Once Form TSP-U-17, Information Relating to Deceased Participant, is received and processed, the TSP will send an interim notice to spouse beneficiaries to inform them that they may leave the designated amount they are entitled to in the TSP. It will remain invested in the G Fund until a TSP account has been established in the spouse’s name. Rather than the account being paid 60 days after the notice is sent, the spouse will have the option of requesting immediate payment by filling out an enclosed form. The form will have to be notarized. The payment can also be transferred to an IRA or other eligible employer plan by filling out a TSP-13-S-D which will also be enclosed with the notice. If the spouse is a TSP participant, they may request that the TSP transfer the spousal account balance to their TSP account. Detailed information regarding the transfer option and taxation rules can be found in the tax notice, “Important Tax Information About TSP Death Benefit Payments” on the TSP website.

    The 2009 Fall poster is now available as a single download, or download TSP Bulletin 09-12 which contains the poster as an attachment.

    The 2009 Fall poster is now available as a single download, or download TSP Bulletin 09-U-12 which contains the poster as an attachment.

    The elective deferral limit for 2010 remains unchanged at $16,500. The catch-up contribution limit also remains at $5,500 for 2010. See Historical information on contribution limits.

    Bulletin 09-9, Participation in the Thrift Savings Plan, has been revised and is available for viewing or download. In addition, the updated booklet, Summary of the Thrift Savings Plan, dated July 2009, is now available for download. TSP Bulletin 09-10, Updated Web Version of the Summary of the Thrift Savings Plan, provides information on the revised booklet and procedures when requesting the current printed version of the Plan Summary (dated October 2008) with the addendum. For agencies that have copies of the current Plan Summary who would like to download the addendum only, click here. To download a copy of the July 2009 Plan Summary with all of the changes incorporated, click here.

    President Obama signed H.R. 1256, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, into law. Participants covered by the Federal Employees’ Retirement System and equivalent Federal retirement plans are now immediately eligible to receive agency contributions. For more information, please review Bulletin 09-8 - H.R. 1256 - Implementation of Immediate Agency Contributions for Participants Covered by the Federal Employees’ Retirement System and Equivalent Federal Retirement Plans.

    Bulletin 09-8 - H.R. 1256 - Implementation of Immediate Agency Contributions for Participants Covered by the Federal Employees’ Retirement System and Equivalent Federal Retirement Plans is now available.

    The OPM Spring Conference was held during the week of May 11 - 15, 2009. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board attended this conference and conducted a presentation highlighting the current legislative initiatives, status of the TSP Web site redesign and the L Funds DVD update projects. A copy of the presentation (with additional slides providing a recap of last year’s benefits activities) is available for representatives not able to attend this conference.

    The 2008 TSP Participant Survey results are in. The survey, conducted by the TSP, in conjunction with Watson Wyatt Worldwide, was sent to a random sample of Federal employees and uniformed service members who have participated in the Plan. The results informed us about their opinions, needs, understanding and satisfaction with the Thrift Savings Plan. It also gauged reaction to potential TSP enhancements that are under consideration.

    April is Financial Literacy Month, a time to focus on smart money management. Executive Director Gregory Long’s letter talks about financial literacy and how the TSP meets the needs of participants planning for retirement. The April 2009 Highlights summarizes the features of the TSP that make it a compelling choice for retirement savings. A special poster has been made available to all federal agencies.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) has become aware of an e-mail and Internet hoax purporting illegal activity on the part of an individual said to manage the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) I Fund. The TSP is actively investigating the origins of the bogus web site.

    We have developed and posted on the TSP Web site 6/2008 versions of Forms TSP-9, Change in Address for Separated Participant, and TSP-15, Change in Name for Separated Participant. Both forms are designed to be read by an optical scanner. We are also reinstating the documentation requirements for Form TSP-15. These forms are intended for use only by separated participants. Please discard all obsolete versions. (Please see Bulletins 09-5 and 09-6.)

    We are replacing Forms TSP-U-9, Change in Address for Separated Participant, and TSP-U-15, Change in Name for Separated Participant, with the 6/2008 versions of Forms TSP-9 and TSP-15. We are also reinstating the documentation requirement for Form TSP-15. The new Forms TSP-9 and TSP-15 are intended for use by both members of the uniformed services and civilians. The primary change is that both forms are designed to be read by an optical scanner. Therefore, Forms TSP-U-9 and TSP-U-15 are now obsolete and should be discarded. These forms are intended for use only by separated participants. We have posted the new forms on the TSP Web site and are directing participants who click on links to them to messages explaining the change. (Please see Bulletins 09-U-5 and 09-U-6.)

    Lifecycle Funds Survey - The TSP is conducting a Web-based survey as part of our effort to produce a new Lifecycle Funds Educational DVD that will be made available to agencies for distribution. The few minutes that agency employees take to respond to our brief survey will help us to better understand their preferences and their approach to retirement investing. The survey has 25 questions and should take approximately 5 minutes to complete. It will be available for a limited time; therefore, we would like your assistance in getting the word out to agency employees. We would like you to participate as well.

    America Saves Week begins on February 22 and continues through March 1. It focuses on encouraging individuals and families to reduce debt and increase savings. Executive Director Gregory Long’s letter discusses the program and the TSP’s role in supporting it. See Bulletin 09-4. A special poster is being made available to all federal agencies.

    Military Saves Week begins on February 22 and continues through March 1. It focuses on encouraging individuals and families to reduce debt and increase savings. Executive Director Gregory Long’s letter discusses the program and the TSP’s role in supporting it. See Bulletin 09-U-4. A special poster is being made available to all services.

    Annual TSP participant statements: We have begun mailing the 2008 annual participant statements. Over 4.2 million statements will be mailed, and we expect that mailing will continue through the end of February. The statements provide participants with a summary of the 2008 activity in their TSP accounts, as well as a number of other features, such as their personal rates of return, the amount of their lifetime contributions, the amount that they contributed toward various contribution limits, and their beneficiaries of record. A copy of the leaflet How to Read Your Annual Participant Statement is enclosed with the mailing to help participants understand the statements. Also, a set of Questions and Answers, which supplement the leaflet, are on the TSP Web site. The mailing also includes a letter from the Executive Director reviewing last year’s TSP activities and discussing upcoming events, a copy of the January/February 2009 Highlights, and a leaflet summarizing the results of the 2008 TSP survey. This year, participants were given the opportunity to opt out of the mailed annual statement. Those individuals who opted out will still receive a mailing that includes all four enclosures.

    The updated booklet Summary of the Thrift Savings Plan is now available for download. Authorized agency representatives may order copies of the updated booklet by following the Board’s procedures for ordering TSP materials as outlined in “Ordering Thrift Savings Plan Forms and Publications through the Pro-Mail® System.”

    The elective deferral limit increased from $15,500 in 2008 to $16,500 in 2009. The catch-up contribution limit increased from $5,000 in 2008 to $5,500 in 2009. The 2009 Contribution Limits bulletin is available for download.

    Federal employees who want to receive their annual TSP participant statements only on the web can now opt out of receiving mailed annual statements. They can do this in the Account Access section of the TSP Web site, on the ThriftLine, or through a participant service representative. However, participants who opt out of mailed annual statements will still receive the annual TSP mailing with the letter from the Executive Director of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board and a copy of the latest Thrift Savings Plan Highlights in the mail.

    GovDelivery is now available for the “Info for TSP Representatives” section of the TSP Web site. GovDelivery is a free subscription service that allows TSP representatives to receive an e-mail notification when new information for TSP representatives is available.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has changed the way it is displaying the share prices of the TSP funds from two decimal places to four decimal places. This change will allow for greater precision in calculating account balances and in tracking the TSP funds to the indexes with which they are associated. More information is available in the Questions and Answers on this topic.

    We have just made it easier for participants to access their accounts on the TSP Web site. Participants can now create Custom User IDs to use in place of their 13-digit TSP account numbers to access their accounts on the Web site. To do this, they will log into Account Access using their TSP account numbers and Web passwords, and then choose “Create/Modify Custom ID” from the Account Access menu. The custom ID is interchangeable with the TSP account number on the Web site - participants can use their custom IDs OR their 13-digit TSP account numbers, along with Web passwords, any time they log into their accounts.

    Note: Custom IDs cannot be used on the ThriftLine. The TSP account number (and 4-digit PIN) remain the only way to access a TSP account on the ThriftLine.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is changing the way it will display share prices of the TSP funds from two decimal places to four decimal places. This change will occur on July 1.

    Web Redesign Survey: The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is redesigning the TSP Web site. We recently posted aweb-based survey to askindividuals why they use the web site, whether it is easy or hard to use, and what they would like to see changed or kept as is.We have concluded the survey and removed it from the TSP Web site. Thank you for your assistance in getting the word out to your agency employees to participate in the survey.

    Interfund Transfer Program Change - Limits on IFT Requests effective May 1, 2008. Read Bulletin 08-4 for more information.

    The Agency has published a final regulation that takes effect Thursday, May 1, 2008. It will limit the number of unrestricted interfund transfer requests to two per month.After a participant has made two interfund transfers in a calendar month, the participant may make additional interfund transfers only into the G Fund until the next calendar month. For more information aboutthis change, see the Questions and Answers on this topic. A TSP Bulletin will be issued shortly.

    The opportunity for comment on the proposed regulation ended on April 9, 2008. We are currently evaluating the comments we received. Once we reach a final decision on the approach to be taken, we will announce it to all participants via the Web site and ThriftLine.

    Uniformed services participants who opted into the Blended Retirement System (BRS) and did not have a TSP account prior to opting in should visit their service’s payroll system to make a contribution election. Once a member opts in, the service creates a TSP account for him or her and begins making Service Automatic (1%) Contributions. However, any service member who didn’t already have a TSP account will need to go into the payroll system and select the percentage of pay to contribute to his or her TSP account in order to start making employee contributions and receive Service Matching Contributions.

    Participants can complete Form TSP-U-1 if they cannot access their payroll system.

    On Wednesday, March 12, 2008, the OPM sponsored a FERCCA meeting for Payroll Representatives in New Orleans, LA. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board attended this meeting and reviewed TSP corrections under the provisions of FERCCA. A copy of the updated TSP FERCCA corrections slides with attachments is available for Payroll representatives not able to attend this meeting and HR representatives processing FERCCA corrections.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has issued a proposed regulation that would limit the number of interfund transfer requests to two per month. Under the proposed regulation, after a participant has made two interfund transfers in a calendar month, the participant may make additional interfund transfers only into the G Fund until the first day of the next calendar month.

    As a point of clarification, the January 7th interim regulation provided for an immediate, short-term procedure to curb frequent trading (see link below). This proposed regulation provides for a broader, system-wide solution.

    For more information about frequent trading, see the Questions and Answers on the TSP Web site Home page.

    Annual Participant Statements. The mailing of the new annual participant statements will begin shortly; we expect that it will continue through the end of February since we are sending 4.1 million statements. As announced in the October 2007 and January/February 2008 Highlights, the statements will provide participants with a summary of the 2007 activity in their TSP accounts as well as a number of new features including their personal rates of return, the amount of their life time contributions, and their beneficiaries of record. A copy of the leaflet, How To Read Your Annual Participant Statement, will be enclosed with the mailing to assist participants in understanding the new statements. Also, a set of Questions and Answers will be posted on the TSP home page next week which will supplement the leaflet.

    Because this is a new service, we anticipate a lot of interest in the statements - particularly from participants who may not have been keeping up with their online quarterly statements. We also expect that you will get questions from participants who want to update their beneficiary information. Please remind your participants that the Designation of Beneficiary forms must be sent to the TSP; they should not be given to the agency personnel or finance offices. The latest versions of the Designation of Beneficiary forms (civilian and uniformed services) are available in Forms and Publications.

    The mailing will also include a letter from the Executive Director reviewing last year’s TSP activities and discussing upcoming events as well as a copy of the January/February 2008 Highlights.

    Roth IRA Transfers. The new option permitting eligible participants to transfer their TSP accounts to a Roth IRA, as well as to a traditional IRA or other eligible employer plan (like a 401(k) plan) is coming soon (probably the week of the 11th). We are posting a set of Questions and Answers on the TSP home page describing the new Roth IRA transfer, its eligibility requirements, and other information about the option. The versions of the forms, tax notices, etc., incorporating the Roth IRA transfer option will be updated in Forms and Publications and we will begin shipping them as we fill agency and service requests for materials. Remember, this option is for transfers out of the TSP. Participants cannot transfer Roth IRA funds into the TSP.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has issued interim regulations that allow the Executive Director to adopt a policy of setting limits on the number of interfund transfers requests. In the near term, this interim regulation allows the Executive Director to immediately address and, if necessary, restrict the activity of frequent traders, who have disrupted management of the TSP Funds and whose activity has resulted in increased costs to all participants. This interim rule is effective January 7, 2008. For more information about frequent trading, see the Questions and Answers on the TSP Web site Home page.

    A new chart, “Elective Deferral and Catch-Up Contribution Limits for 1987-Present,”is now available under Historical information.

    The elective deferral limit for 2008 remains $15,500. The limit for 2007 was $15,500. See TSP Bulletin 07-4.

    Catch-Up Contributions - The limit on catch-up contributions for 2008 is $5,000. Eligible employees must make new elections for catch-up contributions each calendar year. See TSP Bulletin 07-4.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has issued interim regulations that allow the Executive Director to adopt a policy of setting limits on the number of interfund transfers requests. In the near term, this interim regulation allows the Executive Director to immediately address and, if necessary, restrict the activity of frequent traders, who have disrupted management of the TSP Funds and whose activity has resulted in increased costs to all participants. This interim rule is effective January 7, 2008. For more information about frequent trading, see the Questions and Answers on the TSP Web site Home page.

    I.R.C. Section 402(g) Limit “ The elective deferral limit for 2008 remains $15,500. This limit applies to tax-deferred employee contributions. If employee contributions are also made to a civilian TSP account, the total of the tax-deferred employee contributions cannot exceed this limit.

    Catch-Up Contributions “ The limit on catch-up contributions for 2008 is $5,000. Eligible employees must make new elections for catch-up contributions each calendar year.

    I.R.C. Section 415(c) Limit “ The limit for 2008 is $46,000. This limit applies to all TSP contributions, including tax-exempt contributions. If contributions are also made to a civilian TSP account, the total of all contributions cannot exceed this limit.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) has issued final regulations to reflect enhanced security measures, including its use of account numbers in place of Social Security numbers as the primary way of identifying participants’ TSP accounts. You can find these regulations on the FRTIB Web site.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has issued final regulations (1) to clarify that the procedures applicable to an employee who was misclassified as either CSRS or FERS also apply to an employee who elects retroactive non-appropriated fund (NAF) retirement coverage; (2) to allow a non-spouse beneficiary to transfer a death benefit payment to an inherited IRA as authorized by the Pension Protection Act of 2006; (3) to clarify that a bankruptcy court now lacks jurisdiction over a TSP loan; and (4) to address other administrative matters.

    As a result of the account number announcement mailing, we are receiving calls from participants who would like to update their addresses. Please remind your service members that active participants must change their addresses through their service. We are referring these participants back to their service and reminding them that some of the services have self-service benefits systems (i.e., myPay) which will allow them to change their addresses quickly and easily.

    The revised booklet, Withdrawing Your TSP Account After Leaving Federal Service, is available on this Web site. This booklet contains information about all of the TSP withdrawal options, including things to consider before making a withdrawal decision. Also included is an extensive section on the TSP annuity options.

    Historical charts containing information regarding Elective Deferral and Catch-Up Contribution Limits, TSP Contribution Percentage Limits, Eligibility Dates for Agency Automatic and Matching Contributions, and TSP Open Seasons.

    For added security, the TSP now requires that participants enter a longer and more complex Web password when they log into Account Access. If they already had a TSP account when the new Web passwords went into effect, they will be prompted to either create their own password or request a computer-generated password. New TSP participants will receive their Web passwords in the mail after the TSP receives their first contribution. Passwords will not work with the ThriftLine. To access their account by telephone via the ThriftLine, participants will continue to use their TSP Personal Identification Number (PIN).

    We are updating all of the publications with the new Web password information. These are being posted on this Web site and you will receive the new versions when you order the publications.

    The leaflet “You’re here for us today…We’ll be there for you tomorrow” explains the advantages of contributing to the TSP to members of the uniformed services who are serving our country. To review the leaflet, please click here.

    The Agency is announcing the transition of its agency technical services and death benefits and legal processing activities from the National Finance Center in New Orleans, LA, to SI International, Inc. in Fair Oaks, VA. Please see TSP Bulletins 06-2 (Civilian) and 06-U-3 (Uniformed Services) for more information. In addition, we have updated this Web site’s contact information and the contact information in the affected booklets and forms (e.g., the Court Order Booklet; Forms TSP-17 and TSP-U-17, Information Relating to Deceased Participant. The updated materials will also be available through the normal TSP distribution channels.

    L Funds Agency and Service Training Materials - The TSP has developed a DVD for agencies and services containing training materials that they can use in introducing the Lifecycle (L) Funds to their employees and service members. Representatives wishing to order a training package should click here for the order form. Complete the form and fax it to the Education and Training staff at (202) 942-1451.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) has issued final regulations to reflect enhanced security measures, including its use of account numbers in place of Social Security numbers as the primary way of identifying participants’ TSP accounts. You can find these regulations on the FRTIB Web site.

    The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has issued final regulations (1) to clarify that the procedures applicable to an employee who was misclassified as either CSRS or FERS also apply to an employee who elects retroactive non-appropriated fund (NAF) retirement coverage; (2) to allow a non-spouse beneficiary to transfer a death benefit payment to an inherited IRA as authorized by the Pension Protection Act of 2006; (3) to clarify that a bankruptcy court now lacks jurisdiction over a TSP loan; and (4) to address other administrative matters.

    As a result of the account number announcement mailing, we are receiving calls from participants who would like to update their addresses. Please remind your service members that active participants must change their addresses through their service. We are referring these participants back to their service and reminding them that some of the services have self-service benefits systems (i.e., myPay) which will allow them to change their addresses quickly and easily.

    For added security, the TSP now requires that members of the uniformed services enter a longer and more complex when they log into Account Access. If they already had a TSP account when the new Web passwords went into effect, they will be prompted to either create their own password or request a computer-generated password. New TSP participants will receive their Web passwords in the mail after the TSP receives their first contribution. Passwords will not work with the ThriftLine. To access their account by telephone via the ThriftLine, members of the uniformed services will continue to use their TSP Personal Identification Number (PIN).

    We are updating all of the publications with the new Web password information. These are being posted on this Web site and you will receive the new versions when you order the publications.

    A new chart, “Uniformed Services Elective Deferral, Section 415(c) and Catch-Up Contribution Limits for 2002-2007,” is now available under Historical Information. To review the chart, click here.

    The leaflet “You’re here for us today…We’ll be there for you tomorrow” explains the advantages of contributing to the TSP to members of the uniformed services who are serving our country. To review the leaflet, please click here.

    The Agency is announcing the transition of its agency technical services and death benefits and legal processing activities from the National Finance Center in New Orleans, LA, to SI International, Inc. in Fair Oaks, VA. Please see TSP Bulletins 06-2 (Civilian) and 06-U-3 (Uniformed Services) for more information. In addition, we have updated this Web site and the contact information in the affected booklets and forms (e.g., the Court Order Booklet; Forms TSP-17 and TSP-U-17, Information Relating to Deceased Participant. The updated materials will also be available through the normal TSP distribution channels.

    L Funds Agency and Service Training Materials - The TSP has developed a DVD for agencies and services containing training materials that they can use in introducing the Lifecycle (L) Funds to their employees and service members. Representatives wishing to order a training package should click here for the order form. Complete the form and fax it to the Education and Training staff at (202) 942-1451.

    TSP Loan Default Program — The TSP implemented the final phase of the loan default program required by the Internal Revenue Service. The TSP has mailed notices to those participants whose loans are missing two-and-a-half or more payments, notifying them that the loans have beenreamortized. Although their loan payments have not been changed, the terms of the loan have been extended and, in somecases, a balloon payment atthe end ofthe term may be requiredunless additional payments are made.

    Annuity Program — The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board selected Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) to continue to provide annuities to participants of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Read the memorandum to TSP coordinators regarding the changes to the annuity program.

    Employee Contributions — Beginning in 2006, there were no longer any percentage limits on employee contributions to the TSP. Employee contributions are limited only by the annual elective deferral limit. See TSP Bulletin 05-17.

    Annuity Program — The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board selected Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) to continue to provide annuities to participants of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Read the memorandum to TSP coordinators regarding the changes to the annuity program.

    Employee Contributions — Beginning in 2006, there were no longer any percentage limits on employee contributions to the TSP. TSP contributions are limited only by the restrictions imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. See TSP Bulletin 05-U-8.

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This is a reminder that agencies should NOT accept completed TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary, forms from employees. All TSP-3s should be sent directly to the TSP’s Service Bureau at Thrift Savings Plan, P.O. Box 38502, Birmingham, AL 35238, or faxed to 1-866-817-5023, not filed in employee eOPFs.

If the TSP Service Bureau has a valid Form TSP-3 on file on or before the date of the participant’s death, the TSP will use the form to identify the participant’s beneficiary(ies) and disburse the death benefit payments from his or her TSP account(s). If the TSP Service Bureau does not have a valid TSP-3 on file, the death benefit payment will be paid by Statutory Order of Precedence (SOP) as listed on the TSP-3 form.

The TSP recently released Bulletin 19-5, Introduction of the Spillover Method for Catch-Up Contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan. Beginning with the first pay period of calendar year 2021, the TSP plans to switch to the “spillover” method for catch-up contributions for all active participants turning age 50 or older (civilian and uniformed services). This new approach will simplify the catch-up process:

  • Participants turning age 50 and older will no longer need to make a separate catch-up election. Once they reach the elective deferral limit (EDL), their regular contributions will automatically spill over toward the catch-up contribution limit.
  • Payroll offices will no longer need to send catch-up contributions on separate payroll records. For participants turning 50 or older, contributions toward the EDL and the catch-up limit will use the same record. This will not pose any issues for tax reporting as the two are already combined on participant W-2s.
  • For eligible members of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and the Blended Retirement System (BRS), contributions “spilling over” toward the catch-up limit will be matched up to the 5% of basic pay to which participants are currently entitled. In other words, spillover will help prevent people from missing out on what they’re already eligible to receive.

In addition to making it significantly easier for participants to make catch-up contributions, spillover will simplify some payroll processes, such as streamlining payroll records, reducing the burden of tracking how close catch-up-eligible participants are to the EDL, and eliminating some errors.

Bulletin 19-5 provides additional details about the program so that agency and service payroll offices, HR personnel, and electronic payroll systems can begin preparing for the transition.

Clarification of TSP Bulletin 19-1, Effect of the retroactive pay increase on the Thrift Savings Plan – In the guidance we provided in Bulletin 19-1, we indicated that if you need to submit contributions associated with the retroactive pay increase, you should do so on current payment records (12 or 16-Record) using the current pay date. We have been notified by some agencies that certain limitations may prevent them from submitting the contributions in this way. If it is not possible for you to submit these contributions on current payment records using the current pay date, you may use the “as of” date instead. But note that using the “as of” date for these contributions could result in breakage. Payroll offices can contact Agency Technical Services (ATS) for clarification or with questions.