More Flexibilities in line for Feds after Senate Votes to Eliminate TSP Open Seasons

The Senate voted to eliminate the open seasons in the Thrift Savings Plans so that federal employees could have more flexibility in making contribution changes.

Federal employees are one step closer to having more flexibility in managing their accounts in the Thrift Savings Plan after the Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would eliminate the plan’s twice a year open seasons.

The bill, which would give federal employees the flexibility to make contribution changes toward their retirement any time instead of only twice a year under the current system, now moves to President Bush for his signature.

Currently, federal employees are allowed to make TSP contribution changes only twice a year – April 15-June 30 and Oct. 15-Dec. 31. Employees wanting to make changes outside of those dates have been forced to wait until the next open season begins, sometimes forcing a delay of nearly a year.

Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, sponsored the bill on the House floor. Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-Maine) sponsored the legislation on the Senate side.

Once the president signs the bill, the TSP will issue rules and begin phasing out the open seasons over the next year.

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