Thrift Savings Plan Guidance for Federal Furlough

You all know GubMints is a big fan of the TSP.  There was lots of TSP info that got buried in the news cycle last week-  Some good, some not so good.  The not-so-good is that it appears TSP is preparing to duplicate some of the functions of the Census Bureau.

TSP released results of a 4-Year study of Participant Behavior and Demographics.

Here are the key findings of the 2006-2010 TSP study:

  • TSP participation rates are solid
  • Deferral rates declined through 2010 (note there is an uptick in participation since 2010, to 86.7 percent as of 2013 YTD).
  •  Younger workers are less engaged with their TSP
    •  Higher percentage of deferrals going in to G fund
  • Lower-Pay demographic mostly taking full advantage of matching contributions

Next moves for the TSP Demographic Study:

  • Perform current and retroactive data mining on  TSP and OPM records for race, wage/grade, and education level (for years 2006-2012) of  TSP participants.

Other TSP News:

Uniformed Services Roth TSP participation continues to grow at approximately 10,000 participants per month(!).  Total Roth TSP participant count (all Uniformed Services and Feds) participation is up to over 147,000.

GubMints’ notes:

Great news that Roth participation-especially Uniformed Services- is on the rise.  Active Duty and mobilized Guard/Reserve should take advantage of the Roth TSP, especially with deferral of Combat/tax-free pay.

I’m not a big fan of the TSP profiling me for race and wage/grade, but there’s probably no choice (You can’t opt out of the TSP- Not that you would want to).  It’s not like the TSP is an anonymous investment vehicle like a Charitable Gift Fund.

TSP Chariman is evidently disappointed in the finding that younger participants are disengaged and leaving TSP contributions in the automatic enrollment (G Fund).   He’d like to see the automatic enrollment for participants to be the L Fund, absent any decision by the participant.  (h/t to Bloomberg news)   Again, I’m not a big fan of TSP tracking stuff like my birthday, but a Target-date fund like the L Fund is probably the best choice for someone who has no idea what to do with their 401k/TSP.  


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