Rubio Pitches Giving All Americans Access to the TSP

Molly Riley/AP

All Americans should have access to the same retirement savings plan as federal employees, according to a Republican lawmaker. But a spokeswoman for the plan said opening it to the general public might not be in the best interest of current participants.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to overhaul the nation’s retirement system, including a provision to give any American without employer-sponsored defined contribution retirement benefits access to the Thrift Savings Plan. The plan is similar to one proposed by President Obama in his most recent State of the Union address, which would give all Americans access to the TSP’s government securities (G) fund.

Rubio called the TSP “one of the most efficient savings plans in America,” because it charges a fraction of the fees its private-sector equivalents charge.

“So the twisted irony is that members of Congress -- who are employees of the citizens of the United States -- have access to a superior savings plan, while many of their employers -- the American people -- are often left with access to no plan at all,” Rubio said during a speech in Washington, D.C., to announce his proposals.

Giving the American people access to the TSP would allow millions of people to maintain a “secure, comfortable and independent retirement,” he added.

The agency that administers the TSP, however, expressed significant concern with the plan.

By granting access to the TSP to non-federal workers, “we would be greatly diluting our focus on our participants,” Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board spokeswoman Kim Weaver told Government Executive. She added getting the necessary data from millions of private employers across the country would “require a completely different set of operational capabilities” than the agency currently possesses.

Weaver said the board is still awaiting the details of Rubio’s proposal.

“The FRTIB's responsibility is to act solely in the interest of our participants and beneficiaries,” she said. “That is the standard by which we will evaluate the proposal put forward by the senator.”

Rubio also suggested eliminating the payroll tax for working Americans older than 65 years, jettisoning the retirement earnings test and raising the retirement age for those currently less than 55 years old. He also advocated for reforming Medicare into a “premium support” system, similar to that advocated by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.  

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
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.