The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) will see several changes in the coming year, including a new mobile app, online chat support, electronic funds transfer and a long-awaited option for investors to purchase funds mutual funds with their TSP balance.
The Thrift Savings Plan is a 401(k)-style retirement account available to many military and federal employees. In an email Wednesday, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which manages the plan, announced the upcoming changes, which are expected to take effect this summer.
Additionally, on January 26, the agency announced plans to allow participants to make their own mutual fund investments through the TSP website.
In long-awaited news, the investment board, which oversees the TSP, will offer selected mutual funds to TSP investors with the major system upgrade this summer.
The mutual fund offering was authorized by Congress in 2009, but technological and regulatory challenges delayed implementation until this summer.
TSP users will be able to invest up to 25% of their total TSP balance in the new mutual funds, with a minimum investment of $10,000.
Users of the mutual fund trading portion of the TSP plan will also incur additional fees to use the system, including an annual access fee of $55, plus an annual service fee of $95 if they have funds and transaction fee of $28.75. Specific funds may charge additional fees.
The agency will be receiving feedback on the fee structure as well as other aspects of mutual fund trading options. The public can view the proposed regulations and make comments through the Federal Register website. Comments must be received by March 28.
Some of the other changes TSP users can look forward to this year include:
- A new mobile app — The new official TSP app will allow users to view all of their TSP information, manage their investments and contact the agency for assistance via their mobile devices. Users will also be able to use additional security measures, such as facial recognition, fingerprint identification or other methods to increase the security of their account.
- Live Support and Virtual Chat – Users will be able to chat with a live representative during business hours, using the mobile app or the website. There will also be a new virtual assistant that will provide answers to many common questions.
- Electronic Funds Management Update — Users will be able to perform many transactions online, including transferring money to and from different retirement accounts, making loan repayments, and even submitting many forms that will now be accepted with an electronic signature.
– Jim Absher can be contacted at [email protected]
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