Michael Kennedy, Chairman of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) Board, the agency that oversees the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), is resigning as of June 30, 2020, to pursue another opportunity.
The FRTIB will still have a quorum and be able to continue conducting Board business. FRTIB Member David Jones will be the Acting Chairman until new Board Members are confirmed by the Senate.
Chairman Kennedy’s resignation is not a big surprise. Last month, the White House sent to the Senate nominees to be new members of the Board. Once confirmed by the Senate, these nominees will replace several of the current members, including Chairman Kennedy.
Comments by Chairman Kennedy
In his letter to President Trump, Chairman Kennedy wrote:
It has been my honor to serve as Chairman of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) since 2010. During my time as Chairman, I have been most proud of the Board’s efforts in leading improvements to the Thrift Savings Plan’s (TSP) cybersecurity and infrastructure and adding significant plan enhancements such as additional withdrawal options and the blended retirement program for members of the uniformed services. With its low cost structure, simplicity, and singular focus on acting in the interest of the TSP’s participants, the FRTIB serves as an example of effective Federal governance and efficient operations.
The new nominees will replace several members of the Board that were appointed by President Obama. The new nominees would replace current FRTIB Members Michael Kennedy, David Avren Jones, and Ronald David McCray.
Delaying New I Fund Index
The new nominees were forwarded to the Senate for confirmation after new reports surfaced regarding the expansion of the TSP’s I Fund to include emerging markets, including Chinese companies. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the politics surrounding Chinese involvement with this virus, a move to start placing investments from federal employees and military personnel in Chinese companies later this year captured the attention of interested parties including President Trump.
On May 13, 2020, the Board members voted to delay implementing a new index for the I Fund, the Fund in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) that invests in foreign equities.