TSP Record Keeping System Goes Online

TSP investors can now access their accounts through the Internet with faster processing time and daily updates to their accounts.

It took about six years and numerous bureaucratic and legal snafus along the way but The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board says that the new Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) record keeping system is now operational.

The new system will enable TSP participants to access their accounts in the same way most mutual fund companies have been operating for the past few years.

If you are a TSP investor, you can now make daily transactions in your account and you can do it online. Loans and withdrawals will also be handled much faster. And you will now be able to see the value of your account each day rather than monthly.

Account histories for more than 3 million TSP participants have been brought into the new database as part of the new system. Also, new contributions and loan payments that TSP participants have made through payroll deduction since June 1st have been accepted, invested, and recorded in the new system.

As of May 31, 2003, balances on account in the five TSP investment funds available to the 3.1 million Plan participants total $112 billion.

The new system means that participants who make loan requests, interfund transfers or withdrawals must use new forms or the internet to complete the transaction. Additional details about the new system benefits will be mailed to every Plan participant in June along with a close-out statement from the old system.

One problem for some participants is that anyone requesting a loan or withdrawals since June 1 will need to apply again using the new system.

As a safety measure, the Board continued to accept the old forms so that pending requests could have been processed for payment in July if the new system was not activated this month.

The agency expects that the new system may be clogged with too many people using the system all at once. You may have to be patient in initially getting into your account.

The new Executive Director of the Board, Gary Amelio, noted that the new system compares very favorably to what private sector plans offer to their participants. ?The daily valuation, timely processing of interfund transfers, loans, and withdrawals, and efficient Web-based functionalities available in this system rank with the best of what other plans have to offer,? Amelio stated. ?When combined with the historically low TSP administrative expenses, those who voluntarily participate in the Plan will get the best of both worlds.?

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47