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Submitting New Retirement Codes to the Thrift Savings Plan

The “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013” (Pub. L. No. 113-67, § 401), signed by the president on December 26, 2013, amended the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS). Beginning January 1, 2014, new employees will make higher employee retirement contributions towards the FERS basic annuity. The new FERS employees will be covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System as Further Revised Annuity Employees (FERS-FRAE).

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has created new retirement codes for employees covered under FERS-FRAE. All previous retirement codes will remain the same, including regular FERS and FERS-RAE, and the procedures for submitting retirement codes to the TSP are the same as those described in TSP Bulletins 05-13, Processing Agency Submissions in the New Record Keeping System, and Bulletin 12-23, Submitting New Retirement Codes to the Thrift Savings Plan.

I. Agency Responsibilities

Agencies must submit an Employee Data (06) Record (EDR) to establish the TSP account of a participant when they submit the first payment record for the participant. If a payroll submission includes an EDR but does not include a payment record for an employee, the TSP will not process the EDR if a TSP account has not already been established. Agencies must also submit an EDR to correct or change data they submitted previously for a participant.

II. Changes to Employee Data Record

To accommodate the new FERS-FRAE, the OPM has created new two-character alphanumeric retirement codes. The TSP reprogrammed fields 239 and 240 of the EDR in 2012 to accept the two-character alphanumeric retirement codes introduced with FERS-RAE. Agencies should use these same fields to submit the new retirement codes for FERS-FRAE employees that began employment on/after January 1, 2014. Agencies may use field 239 for the existing one-character alphanumeric retirement codes and leave field 240 blank. Agencies may also continue to use field 227 on the EDR for all existing one-character alphanumeric retirement codes until further notice. The OPM has published a list of retirement codes including the new FERS-FRAE codes (BAL 14-102). View the current EDR.

March 12, 2014
Questions concerning this bulletin should be directed to your Agency Technical Services representative.

Chapter 2, General information