TSP stock funds see increases for six consecutive weeks

Monday - 4/20/2009, 7:02pm EDT

Tom Trabucco

Click to hear the interview

Download mp3

By Dorothy Ramienski
Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio

Up, up, up!

That's the news from the Thrift Savings Plan, which says all of the stock funds are having a pretty good month, all things considered.

Tom Trabucco, director of external affairs at the TSP, says these numbers are through last Friday, and don't take into account what the market was doing on Monday.

The C Fund, through Friday, is up 9.1% for the month. The S Fund through Friday is up 12.6% for the month -- and the I Fund, through Friday, is up 9.9% for the month. That gets us pretty close to almost even for the year. The C Fund is down 2.8% for the year through Friday. The I Fund [is] a little bit worse -- down 6.9%, but the S Fund is actually up 0.8% for the year.

Trabucco says other news came out of the Board meeting.

The Board is considering the establishment of what Trabucco calls a "surviving spouse" TSP account.

A beneficiary would be able to take the funds from his or her deceased spouse and put them into an IRA or take the money as a taxable payout.

Trabucco says the idea came from unions that represent federal employees and that the Board voted unanimously for the proposal.

The next step is urging Congress to add this measure to legislation that's currently pending.

The TSP Board is also considering adding a Roth feature to the TSP. This, Trabucco says, is already in the legsilation that was passed by the House before the most current recess.

Trabucco says the Board considered this two years ago, but wanted to do more research on participant interest before making the Roth option available.

This new feature, however, won't happen overnight, "it's going to take us a couple of years to get it up and running because it really is a massive undertaking. [There is] a lot of education involved there because there's a lot of misconceptions about . . . what a Roth 401k is. It's not identical to a Roth IRA, which some people are familiar with.

In addition to all of this, the Board is also looking at establishing a mutual fund window, which is a new concept for the TSP.

If the Board thinks it's a good idea, Trabucco says it would give investors more narrowly-based investment options.

There was some concern voiced on this particular proposal because it does go up against [the] simplicity that we're able to put out there. We had a lot of discussion about the cost and putting any costs of this onto the individuals who choose to take advantage of it.

Trabucco says the Board came to a split decision and is not moving forward at this time. He does note that the issue might be looked at again in the future.

(Copyright 2009 by FederalNewsRadio.com. All Rights Reserved.)