New Thrift Savings Plan funds to debut in May

Participants in the federal Thrift Savings Plan will be able to invest in two new funds beginning in May 2001, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board announced Wednesday. The TSP board had been planning to roll out two new investment funds-the Small Capitalization Index Investment (S) Fund and the International Stock Index Investment (I) Fund-earlier this year. But bugs in creating a new recordkeeping system that will allow investors to check the value of these and other TSP funds daily has held up the plan. Now, the S and I funds will be available under the current TSP system in May, regardless of whether or not the new recordkeeping system is ready, the board said. Offering the new funds under the current system will "provide the most anticipated feature of the pending enhancements to the Thrift Savings Plan without any risk to the plan's longstanding financial and functional integrity," said Roger W. Mehle, the board's executive director. Earlier this month, the TSP board reported that more than 5,700 bugs had been found in the new record system software, and approximately 1,600 of those had yet to be resolved. Meanwhile, the number of people participating in the TSP is likely to increase next year. The fiscal 2001 Defense authorization bill gives military members the right to invest in the TSP, which is currently only open to civilian federal employees. The bill has not yet been passed by Congress, but the TSP board says it will be ready to offer military members TSP access by next October if the bill becomes law. The current TSP program gives federal employees three investment options: the C Fund, which invests in stocks, the F Fund, which invests in bonds, and the G Fund, which invests in government securities. The new system has already missed several launch deadlines. In June, the board announced another delay and decided not to set a new implementation date.
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