Funding Tobacco Legislation by Changing the Thrift Savings Plan

New legislation passed the House this week to protect public health by providing the Food and Drug Administration with authority to regulate tobacco products. The bill will cost about $300 million. An influential Congressman says not to worry–the money to fund this legislation will come from changing the federal Thrift Savings Plan. No doubt, these changes reassure TSP investors that Congress is looking out for their financial future.

Quietly Changing the TSP’s Investment Philosophy

A pending bill would quietly change the TSP’s investment philosophy. The result would be opening the door to more investment options, confusing many investors, applying more political pressure on the TSP and profiting financial interests with Congressional patrons. The likely losers: TSP investors who are benefiting from a simple, inexpensive retirement plan that is currently a model for private sector retirement plans.

TSP Funds Turn Up in April

A few billion dollars were moved out of the TSP stock funds during the first quarter of this year. If you are a contrary investor, that may be a signal that stocks are headed up. And, for April at least, that is the case as all of the TSP funds are up for the month–with one exception.

$16 Million Is Not a Low Number

Comments sent in by readers on proposed changes to interfund transfers within the TSP were unusually harsh. Similar comments may have been sent in directly to the TSP board as well. A new Federal Register notice finalizes a final rule limiting TSP trading activity. The official notice is blunt in addressing the comments opposing the changes. Here is the outcome but watch for future changes as well.