Plan News was updated on December 7, 2018.

Help for Hurricanes Florence and Michael victims — (December 4, 2018) 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. Your primary 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. 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 Hurricanes Florence or Michael.

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. This form can be requested by calling the toll-free ThriftLine at 1-877-968-3778.
  • You must check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box as the reason for requesting financial hardship.
  • You must write “Hurricane Florence” or “Hurricane Michael” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
  • Your request must be received in our office by March 5, 2019 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, your 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 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's 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).

Year-end transaction processing schedule — (December 3, 2018) The TSP processing schedule for the end of 2018 is shown below and includes information about when transactions (including withdrawals and monthly payments) will be processed, as well as when the TSP will be closed during the holiday season.

  • December 15 — The deadline for the TSP to receive a request for an annual change in monthly payments is December 15. This deadline applies only to participants who are in monthly payment status.
  • December 17 — TSP monthly payments that are normally scheduled to be processed between December 18 and December 31 will be processed on December 17, along with the December 17 payments that are regularly scheduled for that date. For income tax purposes, these payments will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income for 2018.
  • December 18 — Any residual 2018 required minimum distribution (RMD) amounts for beneficiary participants will be processed on December 18. For income tax purposes, these payments will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income for 2018.
  • December 19 — Any residual 2018 required minimum distribution (RMD) amounts for civilian and uniformed service participants will be processed on December 19. For income tax purposes, these payments will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income for 2018.
  • December 25 — Because Tuesday December 25 is a federal holiday, the TSP will be closed. Transactions that would have been processed Tuesday night (December 25) will be processed Wednesday night (December 26) at Wednesday’s closing share prices.
  • December 27 — Withdrawals processed through December 27 will be disbursed and reported to the IRS as income for 2018.
  • December 28 — Withdrawals processed on December 28 will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income for 2019. The payments (checks and EFTs) are expected to be issued on January 2, 2019.
  • December 31 — Withdrawals processed on December 31 will be reported to the IRS as income for 2019. The payments (checks and EFTs) are expected to be issued on January 3, 2019.
  • January 1, 2019 — Because January 1 is a federal holiday, the TSP will be closed. Transactions that would have been processed Tuesday night (January 1) will be processed Wednesday night (January 2) at Wednesday’s closing share prices.

Changes coming to the Lifecycle (L) Funds — (November 29, 2018) We are planning adjustments to the L Funds in an effort to improve your investment outcomes. Effective in January 2019, we will increase exposure to international stocks (the I Fund) from 30% to 35% of the overall stock allocation 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 L 2030, L 2040, and L 2050 overall stock allocations will hold steady for a period of years before resuming their transitions from stocks to bonds. In addition to improving investment outcomes, this pause will align the L 2030, L 2040, and L 2050 Funds with the L 2060 Fund, which will be introduced in 2020 with an initial stock allocation of 99%. Visit Lifecycle Funds to learn more.

2019 Contribution limits — (November 7, 2018) The Internal Revenue Code places specific limits on the amount that you can contribute to employer-sponsored plans like the TSP each year. The limits for 2019 have been announced. To learn more, visit “Contribution Limits.”

Current loan interest rate — (November 2, 2018) The interest rate on your TSP loan is the G Fund rate at the time your loan application is processed. The current rate is 3.125%. We are working to resolve a technical issue that may cause a different rate to show when using our Loan wizard. If you generated a loan agreement on or after November 2, 2018, be sure to check that the interest rate on your loan agreement is 3.125% before submitting.

Approaching deadline for some uniformed services members — (November 1, 2018) Are you a member of the uniformed services who is eligible to opt into the Blended Retirement System, also known as BRS? The deadline to sign up is approaching fast. By December 31, 2018, you must choose whether to stay with your current retirement system or opt into BRS. A video, “Opting into the Blended Retirement System (BRS),” and a fact sheet, Questions and Answers about Opting into the Blended Retirement System (BRS), are available to help you make the important decision.

Third quarter participant statements are online and in the mail — (October 10, 2018) Your third quarter 2018 participant statement, covering the period from July 1 through September 30, 2018, is now available in My Account. To receive e-mail updates when new participant statements are available, sign up at “Email Updates” (under Quick Links) on the home page.

Changes coming to the Lifecycle (L) Funds — (September 18, 2018) The TSP is planning adjustments to the 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.

Updated information about changes to TSP withdrawal options — (May 30, 2018) A fact sheet about planned improvements to TSP withdrawal options has been updated to provide more details about the TSP’s plans. Questions and Answers about Changes to TSP Withdrawal Options includes summaries of the changes coming in September 2019, in addition to background on the TSP Modernization Act of 2017, which mandates some of the new withdrawal options.

Stick to Your Plan — (February 6, 2018) The stock and bond markets can change rapidly. 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. Remember that investing for retirement is for the long-term. Try not to let short-term market movements steer you off course. To learn more, visit Investment Strategy: Stick to Your Plan.

Peak ThriftLine Call Times — (January 29, 2018) Our highest call volume is on Monday and Tuesday mornings. If you want to minimize your wait time to speak to a Participant Services Representative, consider calling outside of those peak hours. Participant Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., eastern time.

TSP Withdrawal Options Bill Becomes Law — (November 20, 2017) On November 17, 2017, President Trump signed into law the TSP Modernization Act of 2017, which will provide TSP participants with more flexible withdrawal options. The law eliminates the statutory prohibition on multiple post-separation withdrawals and multiple age-based withdrawals while a participant is still working. It also removes the restriction that participants cannot take partial post-separation withdrawals if they’ve already taken an age-based in-service withdrawal. Though it has no effect on required minimum distributions mandated by the Internal Revenue Code, the law also allows separated participants who are over age 70½ to remain in the TSP, eliminating the requirement to make a withdrawal election on an entire account balance. Participants will also be able to stop monthly payments, change payment frequency, or elect to purchase an annuity while receiving monthly payments.

The Executive Director of the FRTIB has the authority to establish parameters regarding this new ability to take multiple withdrawals, and the law gives the FRTIB up to two years to make the regulatory and operational changes necessary to enact these changes.

You May Now Reset Your TSP Password Online — (August 31, 2017) We’re pleased to announce that you may now reset your password online. If you forget or lose your password, go to the My Account section of tsp.gov, click on “Forgot your password?,” and follow the prompts. If you know your password and want to change it, log into My Account, visit “Profile Settings,” and click on “Change Your Password.” You can also call the ThriftLine at 1-877-968-3778 and press option 3 to speak to a Participant Service Representative.