Fewer Participants, More Assets at TSP


Participation in the Thrift Savings Plan took a dive at the end of 2013, though assets in the plan grew to an all-time high.

Just 85.9 percent of employees enrolled in the Federal Employees Retirement System maintained TSP accounts at year’s end, a full percent lower than earlier in 2013. Uniformed services participation fell to 39.5 percent. Participation typically drops off in December, officials on the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board said Monday, as employees often hit their statutory $17,500 contribution cap before the end of year.

“Fingers crossed” federal workers will re-enroll in early 2014, said Renee Wilder, FRTIB’s director of the Office of Enterprise Planning.  

Assets in TSP rose to more than $397 billion in 2013, a record high. FRTIB officials were also pleased with the number of enrollees who opted for Roth accounts, which jumped 191 percent to more than 294,000 participants. Roth assets increased by 623 percent in 2013.

TSP felt the effects of a tough year for federal employees, with participants turning in record numbers to their retirement accounts to help them through a year of frozen pay and furloughs. About 291,000 feds took out loans on their plans and an additional 138,000 made hardship withdrawals, both 10-year highs.

Officials said members of the Senate considering an overhaul to the U.S. Postal Service have heard their concerns with the provisions of the legislation that affect the TSP. An amendment to the bill would still enable USPS to bargain with unions over the contributions to the plan for new employees, but would require the agency to come to one agreement with all four postal unions.

“They mitigated our biggest concerns,” said Kim Weaver, FRTIB’s director of external affairs, “but we still aren’t wild about the TSP being balkanized in this way.”

TSP officials also noted markets have tumbled in recent weeks, leading most of the plan’s offerings to drop so far in January.

(Image via Kenishirotie/Shutterstock.com)

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

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

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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