Readers Don’t Want TSP Accounts Subjected to Climate Change Debate

A majority of FedSmith readers said in a recent survey they want the climate change debate left out of their TSP accounts.

We asked our readers recently what they thought about Senator Jeff Merkley’s (D-OR) idea of using the Thrift Savings Plan to combat climate change. The answer came through loud and clear: the majority of you think it’s a bad idea.

In case you haven’t heard about the proposal, you can read the details in our past articles on the subject (you can find them in the “see also” section at the end of this article). The basic idea is that a new fund would be added to the TSP that avoids investing in fossil fuel companies.

Survey Results

We asked four questions, the results of which are as follows:

Should a Climate Choice Stock Index fund be added to the Thrift Savings Plan to help combat climate change?

  • Yes: 23%
  • No: 77%

Do you believe that a Climate Choice Stock Index fund would provide better investment returns than the current options in the TSP?

  • Yes: 14%
  • No: 86%

Would you invest in a Climate Choice Stock Index fund if it were offered as an option within the TSP?

  • Yes: 22%
  • No: 78%

Would you be willing to pay higher fees within the TSP to have a Climate Choice Stock Index fund included in the selection of funds?

  • Yes: 12%
  • No: 88%

Do you currently invest in the TSP now?

  • Yes: 96%
  • No: 4%

Among those respondents who said that a Climate Choice Stock Index fund should be added to the TSP, the answers were, not surprisingly, more likely to be in the affirmative. 60% of these respondents said that they thought it would provide better returns and 87% said they would invest in one if offered. However, they were split on being willing to pay extra for it; only 52% said they would pay more for the option of having such a fund in the TSP’s offerings.

Among respondents who said that they would invest in the new fund, 55% said they would be willing to pay higher fees for it, and 64% said they thought it would provide better returns.

Our thanks to those of you who took the time to share your feedback in this recent survey. Feel free to continue to respectfully debate the issue in the comments below.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.