Steady TSP investments despite 'highly volatile' markets

Monday - 9/19/2011, 5:38pm EDT

Tom Trabucco, director of external affairs, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

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By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

Despite the "highly volatile" markets of the past few weeks, most Thrift Savings Plan participants have not moved too much between funds, said Tom Trabucco, director of external affairs at the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, in an interview with In Depth with Francis Rose.

"I think in periods like this, people understand you have to be there when the up's occur, and they can happen swiftly and unexpectedly," Trabucco said.

In the last three months, the G Fund investments increased from $119 billion to $127 billion, but the percentage of G Fund investments compared with the TSP overall have not changed much, he said. In June, 41 percent of TSP funds was invested in the G Fund compared with 45 percent in August.

"Most people stay with the program...Most people are comfortable with their long-term decision," Trabucco said.

TSP Board growth in FY2012

FRTIB passed a fiscal year 2012 budget that takes into account the growth of 140,000 participants in the past year.

The new budget is $143.1 million, an increase of $11.3 million over the previous fiscal year.

The number of participants also increased by about 140,000 in fiscal year 2011, but the budget had stayed the same. The upcoming budget's increase "really covers two years," Trabucco said.

Most of the increase will go toward record-keeping, as well as data center and call center operations, Trabucco said.

Also, the board is preparing the rollout of the Roth TSP option in the second quarter of fiscal year 2012. The Roth TSP will be funded with after-tax dollars while the traditional TSP is funded with pre-tax dollars. The Roth TSP will still allow you to invest in the same funds as the traditional TSP.

TSP Board Sept. 16 meeting agenda.