Plan News was updated on December 1, 2016.

Year-end transaction processing schedule — (December 1, 2016) Year-end transaction processing schedule — The TSP processing schedule for the end of 2016 is shown below. The schedule 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 19 — TSP monthly payments that are normally scheduled to be processed between December 20 and December 31 will be processed on December 19, along with the December 19 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 2016.
  • December 20 — Any residual 2016 required minimum distribution (RMD) amounts for beneficiary participants will be processed on December 20. For income tax purposes, these payments will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income for 2016.
  • December 21 — Any residual 2016 required minimum distribution (RMD) amounts for civilian and uniformed service participants will be processed on December 21. For income tax purposes, these payments will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income for 2016.
  • December 26 — Because Monday December 26 is a Federal holiday, the TSP will be closed. Transactions that would have been processed Monday night (December 26) will be processed Tuesday night (December 27) at Tuesday’s closing share prices.
  • December 27 — Withdrawals processed through December 27 will be disbursed and reported to the IRS as income for 2016.
  • December 28–29 — Withdrawals processed on December 28–29 will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income for 2017. The payments (checks and EFTs) are expected to be issued on January 3, 2017.
  • December 30 — Withdrawals processed on December 30 will be reported to the IRS as income for 2017. The payments (checks and EFTs) are expected to be issued on January 4, 2017.
  • January 2, 2017 — Because January 2 is a Federal holiday, the TSP will be closed. Transactions that would have been processed Monday night (January 2) will be processed Tuesday night (January 3) at Tuesday’s closing share prices.

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.
    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 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).

Third quarter participant statements — (October 11, 2016) Your third quarter 2016 participant statement, covering the period from July 1 through September 30, 2016, 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.

The TSP is now on Facebook — (September 5, 2016) The TSP is pleased to announce the launch of its Facebook page: fb.com/tsp4gov. 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.

Help for Louisiana storm victims — (September 2, 2016) 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. Your 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
  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 the recent Louisiana storms.

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 “Louisiana Storms” 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 January 10, 2017 and, in compliance with IRS guidelines, your 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 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-TSP-YOU-FRST (1-877-968-3778). Outside the U.S. and Canada, please call 404-233-4400 (not toll free).

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.