Plan News was updated on January 11, 2017.

Fourth quarter participant statements — (January 11, 2017) Your fourth quarter 2016 participant statement, covering the period from October 1 through December 31, 2016, is now available in My Account. To receive email updates when new participant statements are available, sign up at “Email Updates” (under Quick Links) on the home page.

January processing schedule — (January 4, 2017)

  • January 16 — The financial markets will be closed on Monday, January 16, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The Thrift Savings Plan will also be closed. Transactions that would have been processed Monday night (January 16) will be processed Tuesday night (January 17) at Tuesday’s closing share prices.
  • IRS Forms 1099-R — IRS Forms 1099-R, Distribution from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., will be posted in My Account and mailed by January 31 to participants who received a withdrawal up to December 27, 2016, and/or a taxable distribution of a loan up to December 30, 2016. Withdrawals processed on December 28, 29, and 30 are taxable income for 2017. Loan taxable distributions declared on or before December 30 are reportable as income for 2016.
  • Withdrawals processed December 28, 29, and 30, 2016 — Withdrawals processed the last three business days of December 2016 are considered taxable income for 2017, not 2016. The TSP will report them to you and to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on IRS Form 1099-R by January 31, 2018.

Warning: Third-Party Mobile Applications — (November 1, 2016) There are a number of mobile applications that reference the Thrift Savings Plan and may prompt you for your TSP account credentials. These applications are NOT sponsored by the TSP. Providing your TSP account credentials to third-party applications may jeopardize the security of your account. The TSP cannot endorse any information or advice provided by third-party applications.

For more information on keeping your account safe, visit our online Security Center or contact the ThriftLine at 1-877-968-3778.

2017 Contribution Limits — (November 1, 2016) The Internal Revenue Code places specific limits on the amount that you can contribute to employer-sponsored plans like the TSP each year. Limits for 2017 are unchanged from 2016. To learn more, visit “Contribution Limits.”

Help for Hurricane Matthew victims — (October 25, 2016) 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.
  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, you must also meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must be actively employed as a federal civilian or a member of the uniformed services.
  • You must complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
  • You must write “Hurricane Matthew” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
  • You must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of your request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
  • Your request must be received in our office by March 8, 2017 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, your 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 your TSP contributions will automatically stop for 6 months.

If you want to stop your TSP contributions, complete Form TSP-1, Election Form (Form TSP-U-1 for uniformed services) or use your agency or service’s 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. If you have questions about this change, call the toll-free ThriftLine at 1-877-968-3778. Outside the U.S. and Canada, please call 404-233-4400 (not toll free).

The TSP is now on Facebook — (September 5, 2016) The TSP is pleased to announce the launch of its Facebook page: Like our page to stay engaged, keep up to date, and learn how to make the most of your TSP account. Don’t forget to share our posts with your federal friends and coworkers.

Tips for Protecting Your Account — (July 19, 2016) As a TSP participant, you should know how to protect your account against various types of fraud. For detailed tips about how you can help safeguard your savings, visit Plan Participation: Protect Your TSP Account.

Stick to Your Plan — (June 24, 2016) Significant movements can occur rapidly in the stock and bond markets. By the time you react to the situation, the market may be moving in the opposite direction, and you could miss out on significant gains. It's a good idea to periodically ask yourself whether your retirement portfolio properly reflects your willingness and ability to take risk. But if you are certain about the amount of risk you can tolerate, try not to let short-term market movements steer you off course. To learn more, visit Investment Strategy: Stick to Your Plan.

Enhanced Security Features — (January 16, 2016) Safeguarding your TSP account is our top priority, so we will soon add enhanced security features to your account. To prepare for these updates, we will ask you to create verification questions to use when accessing your account online. Just follow the prompts that appear when you log into My Account. If you have questions, call us at 1-877-968-3778 and choose option 3.

Updated Lifecycle fund allocations — (January 5, 2016) As a result of changes in long-term capital market assumptions and a review of the Lifecycle fund asset allocations, the TSP has revised the target asset allocations of the Lifecycle funds. To view the current asset allocations, visit Investment Funds: Fund Options.

Update: Information for Federal Public Safety Employees — (November 23, 2015) The Defending Public Safety Employees' Retirement Act (P.L. 114-26) amended the Internal Revenue Code to allow specified federal law enforcement officers, customs and border protection officers, federal firefighters, and air traffic controllers who separate from service in or after the year they turn age 50 to make a withdrawal from the TSP without incurring a 10% early withdrawal penalty. The law applies to TSP withdrawals paid after December 31, 2015.

We will rely on employing agencies and services to inform us if a separating (or already separated) employee was a public safety employee as defined by the law. Employees with this designation who were at least 50 during the year of separation and who are paid withdrawals after December 31, 2015, will be issued a Form 1099-R—in January of the year following the withdrawals—indicating they are exempt from the IRS 10% early withdrawal penalty. Other employees will continue to be exempt only if they separate in the year they turn 55 or older or have reached the age of 59½.