Thrift Savings Plan update

Monday - 12/13/2010, 5:03pm EST

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

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With only a few weeks left in December, how did your Thrift Savings Plan fare this year? And what about programs like automatic enrollment and FERS participation rates?

Tom Trabucco, director of external affairs at the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, joined the DorobekINSIDER with the latest on your TSP. (Scroll down for November TSP statistics, board meeting notes and performance review.)

Funds update
The G Fund continues to increase as expected. The F Fund is down 1.5 percent in December, Trabucco said.

At the end of this year, the L 2010 Fund will become a part of the L income fund. And the L 2050 Fund will be inaugurated in L2050 fund will be inaugurated in January, Trabucco said.

Participation continues to grow
Since TSP made changes a year and a half ago, participation has been "slow and steady," Trabucco said.

One change was the elimination of the waiting period before a federal employee could start receiving automatic contributions and matching contributions, he said.

The other change, started this August, was automatic enrollment into the G Fund at 3 percent. To date, automatic enrollment has added almost 43,000 new enrollees.

"Inertia is strong," Trabucco said. "If you get people headed in the right direction, they'll take it from there."

Trabucco said in the last few months, participation has increased two-tenths of a percent every month. He said he expects overall participation to settle in the high-80 percent range.

Limit on elective deferrals
The tax code limits the amount of tax-deferred contributions you can make each year. The annual limit is $16,500, and if you are 50 or older, you can add an addition $5,500 in catch-up contributions, Trabucco said.

FRTIB will ensure you do not exceed that limit. But if you also have an IRA or another tax-deferred account, Trabucco said, "You want to make sure, combined, you don't exceed that $16,500 limit."

If your contributions do exceed that limit, you have until April 15 to "straighten that out," he said.

Scroll down to the bottom of this post to read a fact sheet on elective deferrals.

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TSP Excess Deferrals