Thrift Savings Plan budget to remain flat in 2011

Thinkstock
The board overseeing the Thrift Savings Plan on Monday voted not to increase the federal retirement program's budget for fiscal 2011 and will require the agency to reconsider several costly initiatives.

During a monthly meeting, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board agreed to operate under a $130.3 million budget, the same amount approved for fiscal 2010, and to cut a number of programs proposed in September. Members also voted to give TSP Executive Director Greg Long the authority to allocate funds and requested a report during the May 2011 meeting to determine whether additional initiatives could be accomplished with remaining resources.

Board members last month failed to approve a $134.9 million budget for fiscal 2011, a 4 percent increase over the previous year, citing rising costs and concerns about the current economic climate.

"We don't want to go to participants and say everything is very tough but don't worry, we've increased the budget," Board Chairman Andrew Saul said. "We have to be cognizant of the world we live in."

The TSP spent $119 million in fiscal 2010, more than $11 million less than expected.

"We basically underspent our budget because we didn't get stuff done," said Long, noting the expense of accomplishing the remaining fiscal 2010 projects would roll over into the new budget. He added he believed the initial proposal for fiscal 2011 was reasonable but provided the board a list of cuts to bring expenses back in line.

"If you want to spend less, we've got to do less," he said.

The revised budget reduces funding for call centers, mailings and other operations, along with making cuts in participant satisfaction surveys, enrollee communications, software testing and staffing. Scaling back these services would have a negative impact on TSP participants, Long said.

Though Saul and board member Alejandro Sanchez supported the cuts, members Michael Kennedy and Dana Bilyeu expressed hesitation about reducing funds for a number of planned initiatives. Bilyeu noted the survey and testing initiatives in particular are important and should be reconsidered during the May meeting.

The board also approved a preliminary $136.5 million budget for fiscal 2012, less than the estimated $148.5 million fiscal 2012 budget considered last month. The new proposal includes $6.2 million to roll out a Roth option mandated in a broad 2009 tobacco law. The provision will allow participants to invest income that already has been taxed and therefore would not be taxed upon withdrawal. Long last month said the Roth option will be available in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 and will cost around $13 million; the board agreed to review the funding proposal again at a later date.

"Roth is a huge project," Long said. "I don't know what the impact will be of a flat $6 million increase, if it will be enough for Roth."

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:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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