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Plan News was updated on March 27, 2020.

President signs CARES Act — (March 27, 2020) President Trump has signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. This law seeks to address the economic impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and it includes provisions concerning retirement plans. We will update you as specific details become available.

TSP operations continue normally — (March 13, 2020) As the coronavirus situation evolves worldwide, we’re working hard to make sure that TSP operations continue normally, and that we’re able to continue to serve you.

  • We continue to process forms and requests.
  • TSP representatives are available to answer your questions.
  • You can access your account online through My Account.

This is a changing situation, and we will communicate with you as soon as possible if anything affects our operations. In the meantime, here are some tips for you to consider.

Make sure you can access your TSP account online and by phone. For online access, you need your account number (or user ID), your password, and access to your validated email or cell phone. If you haven't already, add and validate a personal email or cell phone to your TSP account so you can log in securely from your personal devices with two-step authentication. If you're having trouble logging in, read our tips and troubleshooting information. For access by calling the ThriftLine, you’ll need your account number and PIN.

Avoid longer wait times on the ThriftLine by calling during off-peak hours. Your wait might be longer if you call during peak hours, such as in the morning. If you need to reach a TSP representative by phone, try calling in the afternoon, Tuesday through Friday, to reduce your chances of a long wait. As an alternative, you can use the secure messaging service online after you log into My Account.

Stick to Your Plan — (February 25, 2020) 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.

TSP Life Annuity COLA Changes to Flat 2% in March — (February 24, 2020) The cost of living adjustment (COLA) applied to TSP life annuities with the increasing payments feature will become a flat 2% beginning with annuities purchased on or after March 2, 2020. Annual adjustments for TSP annuities purchased before then will continue to vary between 0% and 3% depending on the Consumer Price Index. Annual adjustments for all TSP annuities take place on the anniversary of the first payment. TSP life annuities are purchased from the TSP’s outside vendor, using money from your TSP account. The information provided here is not related to the “basic annuity” or “pension” that is part of retirement coverage under FERS or CSRS, or the military retired pay that members of the uniformed services receive.

Requesting a color copy of your 2019 annual statement — (February 11, 2020) Due to a contractor error, you may have received a black and white version of your 2019 annual statement in the mail. If this is the case and you would like to view a color copy of your annual statement, you can either log in to My Account to view your statement online or call the ThriftLine and request to have a color copy mailed to you.

Annual participant statements are online and in the mail — (February 5, 2020) Your annual 2019 participant statement, covering the period from January 1 through December 31, 2019, is now available in My Account. You may notice that your 2019 annual statement looks slightly different than your previous annual statements. Fourth quarter (October – December) account information is now included on your annual statement. To receive e-mail updates when new participant statements are available, sign up at “Email Updates” (under Quick Links) on the home page.

IRS Form 1099-R — (January 29, 2020) The TSP has mailed IRS Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., to participants who received a withdrawal up to December 27, 2019, and/or a taxable distribution of a loan up to December 31, 2019. Withdrawals processed on December 30 and 31 are taxable income for 2020. If you have not received Form 1099-R by mid-February, you can print a copy from My Account. Corrected Forms 1099-R will be issued late February/early March. If you are expecting a corrected Form 1099-R, you may wish to wait to file your taxes until you receive the form.

Fourth quarter account information — (January 23, 2020) From now on, you will be able to find your 4th quarter (October – December) TSP account information on your annual statement, which will be available the first week of February. In the 3rd quarter statements and in our recent e-newsletters, we notified participants that we will no longer provide a separate statement with 4th quarter account information.

President signs SECURE Act — (December 26, 2019) President Trump has signed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act into law. We’re currently looking into how the SECURE Act might affect the TSP. We will update you as more details are finalized.

Two-step authentication enabled for logging into My Account — (December 23, 2019) All TSP participants now must have validated contact information and use two-step authentication to log into My Account.

Two-step authentication helps protect your account against fraud. This login process is more secure because it means that online access to your account requires something you know (your account number or username and password) and something you have (the one-time code you receive in your email or on your phone). Someone who tries to log into your account fraudulently won’t be able to gain access without the code.

If you’re having trouble logging in, you can read our tips and troubleshooting guide.

Board and ETAC Chairmen say “Let’s Keep a Fair Playing Field for TSP Investors” — (November 25, 2019) In a letter published today, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Chairman Michael Kennedy and Employee Thrift Advisory Council (ETAC) Chairman Clifford Dailing explain why the Board’s 2017 decision to transition to a new benchmark for the I Fund continues to be the right call. Read more here.

Investment benchmark update — (November 13, 2019) At its November meeting, Members of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board affirmed the 2017 decision to move to a new index for the International Fund (I Fund) for the Thrift Savings Plan. In coming to this decision, the Board noted that moving to the broader I Fund benchmark is in the best interest of participants and beneficiaries, a current best practice in the investment industry, and is widely recognized as a smart strategy in today’s market. The ten largest U.S. companies’ 401(k) plans all invest in emerging markets, as do the ten largest federal contractor plans and the six largest target date fund providers. In addition, the 20 largest defined benefit plans—all of which are for state government workers—invest in emerging markets. TSP participants can decide which TSP funds they want to invest in.

2020 Contribution limits — (November 7, 2019) 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 2020 have been announced. To learn more, visit “Contribution Limits.”

New TSP Podcast — (September 26, 2019) We’re happy to announce our new podcast, The Real TSP! Hosted by TSP educators, each episode provides an in-depth look into your retirement investment plan and answers questions you care about the most. Whether you’re brand new to the government, well into your retirement years, or serving our country in the U.S. or abroad, this podcast has something for you. Find our podcasts at youtube.com/tsp4gov.

New withdrawal options now available — (September 15, 2019) We’re pleased to announce that all participants now have more options when seeking to withdraw retirement savings from their TSP accounts.

For a detailed summary of the new withdrawal options, read our updated fact sheet, Questions and Answers about Changes to TSP Withdrawal Options.

For information about in-service withdrawal options, visit the “In-Service Withdrawals” section of tsp.gov and download our updated booklet, In-Service Withdrawals.

For information about post-separation withdrawals, visit the “Withdrawals After Leaving Federal Service” section of tsp.gov and download our updated booklet Withdrawing from Your TSP Account.

To initiate a withdrawal request, you’ll use enhanced online tools in My Account. After you log in, select the “Withdrawals and Changes to Installment Payments” link from the Online Transactions menu.

Loans during a lapse in appropriations — (February 15, 2019) As a result of the recent partial government shutdown, we made changes to provide assistance to affected TSP participants. In the event your agency is affected by a lapse in appropriations, read the fact sheet Frequently Asked Questions About TSP Loans During a Lapse in Appropriations for details on how to take a loan, what to do if a lapse in appropriations lasts long enough to affect your loan payments, and other questions you may have about taking or having a loan while you are on shutdown furlough. The fact sheet also explains what happens with your loan payments when a lapse in appropriations ends.