The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) has announced the dates that it will begin the process of rolling out the new TSP mutual fund window and the other new features that are coming to the TSP in June 2022.
Key Transition Dates
The transition process to add these new features will begin in the middle of May 2022 with a launch date the first week of June 2022.
These are the dates the transition to the new TSP features will start and ones federal employees and retirees who participate in the TSP will want to make sure they know about since the transition process will involve some restrictions on accessing certain features of your TSP account.
- Expected Transition Dates: May 16 to the first week of June
- All transactions temporarily unavailable: May 26 to the first week of June
- Full access and transitions restored: First week of June
The TSP has included a more detailed listing of dates and times that certain features and services will become unavailable during the transition period. Note that the planned downtime for each transaction type will vary.
It is important to note also that TSP investments will remain active during the transition period, but the TSP will be suspending investment changes near the end of the transition period beginning May 26, 2022. The TSP states:
Important: While your current TSP investments will remain active during this transition period, we’ll need to temporarily suspend investment changes toward the end of the transition period, beginning May 26, 2022. That means you won’t be able to change your investment choices during this brief time. You should review your current investment choices and make sure they still align with your retirement goals. Keep in mind that once you’ve established your retirement goals and a savings strategy that fits your needs, you’ll have the best results if you stick to your plan. Make adjustments to your long-term strategy only after careful consideration.
In a May 2, 2022 press release, the FRTIB urged TSP participants to plan ahead for the upcoming changes and resulting downtime:
The FRTIB encourages TSP participants to consider whether this transition period will affect their retirement planning, especially if they are planning to request any transactions during May of 2022. While current TSP investments will remain active during this transition period, the FRTIB will need to temporarily suspend investment changes toward the end of the transition period, beginning May 26. TSP participants will not be able to change their investment choices during this brief time. TSP participants should review their current investment choices and make sure they still align with individual retirement goals.
New TSP Features Being Added
What are the new features being added? Here is a summary according to the TSP.
TSP Mutual Fund Window
The TSP mutual fund window has been a long time coming and will drastically expand the investment options within the TSP beyond the core funds that have existed for decades.
New Services for TSP Participants
According to the TSP, “You’ll have access to a virtual assistant 24/7 to help you find answers and resources. And, when you’re logged in to My Account or the new TSP Mobile App, you can connect with a ThriftLine Representative during business hours using a new live-agent chat function. As always, you’ll still be able to reach us by phone.”
New Design for “My Account”
“The first thing you’ll notice when you log in is a fresh look to the new My Account interface. Your account summary will display your investments clearly, and the navigation menu will make it easy for you to find and use account management tools. You’ll find all the functions you’re used to—and several new ones—in a responsive, mobile-friendly environment,” says the TSP.
TSP Mobile App
According to the TSP, plan participants will “be able to do just about everything [with the TSP mobile app that] you can do when you sign in through the TSP website. Along with checking your account balance, tracking fund performance, and making transaction requests, you’ll be able to submit documents, manage payment information, scan checks, and more. You’ll even be able to log in with your device biometrics, such as your fingerprint or facial recognition, for an extra layer of security.”
The TSP says that it will share links to the mobile app on its website after it become available so that TSP participants will know that they are downloading the official app from the TSP.
Complete more transactions online
TSP participants will be able to complete forms, sign documents electronically, and make loan payments through the redesigned My Account.
Personalized support for rolling over money to your TSP account
Plan participants who want to move money from an IRA or other eligible plan into the TSP will be able to get help from specialized agents who can walk them through the whole process.
About the New TSP Mutual Fund Window
Perhaps one of the biggest changes will be the addition of the TSP mutual fund window which will allow federal employees and retirees the opportunity to invest in mutual funds outside of the core TSP funds.
On the upside, federal employees will be able to invest in mutual funds, but on the downside, the TSP mutual fund window comes with some limitations and hefty fees.
It will be interesting to see how many federal employees and retirees take advantage of the new mutual fund option. A majority of FedSmith readers have indicated in the past that they do not plan to utilize it.
Politics has already begun to creep into the new TSP mutual fund window before it has even officially arrived. A group of Senators sent a letter last fall in which they pushed for adding race and gender based diversity quotas for the fund managers who will be overseeing the mutual funds being added to the TSP. Comments from our readers on the subject generally indicated that they were less interested in the race or gender of a particular mutual fund’s management team and more interested in whether or not the fund was performing well and earning money. Whether or not any such diversity requirements will be applied to the upcoming mutual fund window remains to be seen.
For more information about the TSP mutual fund window and how it will work, be sure to check out these articles:
- TSP’s Mutual Fund Window: More Options, More Risk and More Expenses
- Sneak Peek: Changes to Your TSP and a New Investment “Window”
- Waiting for the TSP Mutual Fund Window to Open?
- The TSP Mutual Fund Window Will Be Expensive