TSP auto enrollment shows early success

Monday - 11/8/2010, 7:26pm EST

Tom Trabucco, Director of External Affairs, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

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Since Aug. 1, new federal hires were automatically enrolled in the Thrift Savings Plan at 3 percent in the G Fund.

The latest figures (see below) from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board show that the overwhelming majority of feds have continued to contribute to their TSP.

The TSP automatic enrollment is more convenient for feds who "may not be ready to think about [enrolling in TSP] on day one of the job, but day one becomes week one, month one, year one and time goes on," said Tom Trabucco, director of external affairs at board, in an interview with the DorobekINSIDER.

"The sooner you start, the sooner you get compound interest working in your favor," he said.

Also, the more people who are invested in the fund, the lower the administration costs, Trabucco said.

More than half of the 27,709 new hires between August and October elected to stay enrolled in TSP without any changes. About 30 percent changed the amount and type of investment.

"What they're doing is showing signs of life," Trabucco said of this second group. "They enrolled and now they pull the levers and kick the tires and make sure everything is going the way they want it to."

More than 16 percent enrolled themselves before automatic enrollment took effect. Only 2 percent opted out of or declined the automatic enrollment. Thrift Savings Plan participation rates: October 2010