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TSP annual leave investment bill unveiled

The measure could be a boon for federal employees who have large amounts of leftover leave, union leader says.

Leaders of a House oversight subcommittee have officially introduced a bill that would allow federal employees to invest the cash value of unused annual leave in their Thrift Savings Plan retirement accounts.

The bill (H.R. 4865), sponsored by Reps. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, would let employees roll over the value of their leftover leave as long as it did not push them above the cap on annual retirement contributions of $16,500 for employees younger than 50 and $22,000 for those who are 50 or older.

The National Treasury Employees Union praised the measure.

"Many federal employees carry over the maximum amount of 240 hours of annual leave on a yearly basis, and this legislation could significantly boost their TSP accounts," NTEU President Colleen Kelley said.

The bill grew out of a September 2009 pledge from President Obama to make it easier for Americans to save money. One idea was to let workers roll leftover leave into retirement savings, but the Federal Thrift Retirement Board found that current law precludes this option for feds.

The Lynch-Chaffetz bill would remove that restriction. The legislation has been referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Lynch and Chaffetz lead the panel's Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia.