TSP launches campaign to boost employee participation

The Thrift Savings Plan will launch an outreach campaign to encourage new federal employees to begin contributing part of their salaries toward their retirement investments, plan officials said at a meeting in Washington on Monday.

"Our total participation rate is growing, and that's an enormous victory," said Greg Long, TSP's executive director. "Now we want to communicate to everybody so they start deferring their own money."

The TSP has seen total participation rise significantly since the agency began implementing automatic agency contributions. Previously, employees had to wait six or 12 months, depending on where they worked, for their agencies to begin making contributions to their TSP accounts. As of the June 21 payroll cycle, agencies began making contributions equivalent to 1 percent of employees' salaries to TSP accounts in their names, whether employees were making their own contributions or not.

Between May and July, the number of TSP participants rose 100,000, a jump TSP leaders attributed at least in part to accounts established when agencies began making their automatic contributions. The number has continued to rise, increasing by 17,000 between August and September, and by 16,000 from September to October.

Pamela-Jeanne Moran, deputy director of external affairs for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which oversees the TSP, said the agency will send a targeted mailing in late November and early December to new employees who are benefiting from agency contributions but have not yet elected to make contributions from their salaries into their TSP accounts. Making such contributions would trigger additional matching contributions from the agencies. The mailing and a poster the TSP will distribute to agencies are "designed to tell them they've got free money they're leaving on the table," Moran said.

The TSP anticipates that by June 2010, it will have fully implemented a program that will automatically enroll employees in the plan, and put 3 percent of their salaries into an account invested in the G, or government securities, fund. Employees will be able to opt out of that allocation or change their enrollments to invest in different funds.

That increase in participants and fund contributions has kept the TSP with a fairly high cash flow, despite fluctuations in the market that resulted in losses in most of the plan's funds in October, Long said. Tracey Ray, the TSP's chief investment officer, said most of those funds had recouped already their October losses in November.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.