Update: TSP check mistake due to processing error

Tuesday - 1/4/2011, 6:27pm EST

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

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Participants who accidentally received their Thrift Savings Plan payments last week -- some as much as $10,000 -- can return the voided TSP check or write a check for the same amount.

Participants who received checks can keep the money -- it's from their accounts after all. However, they will have to pay taxes on the money if they keep it, said Tom Trabucco, director of external affairs at the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, in an interview with the DorobekINSIDER.

"We expect most of these people will want to get the funds back into their account and carry on," he said.

Trabucco said the accidental payments were due to a year-end processing error.

The 9,700 participants out of TSP's 4.4 million participants received the checks as part of minimum distributions, which is what participants receive at the age of 70 1/2, Federal News Radio reported Tuesday.

The people with accidental checks can call the TSP Call Center -- 1-TSP-YOU-FRST (1-877-968-3778).

Trabucco said the call center will be able to handle the callers since it receives about 10,000 calls daily anyways.

The 9,700 participants will also receive a notice in the mail with instructions of how to return the money. To read the pdf before it hits your mailbox, click here.

Trabucco spoke with the DorobekINSIDER recently about the "very positive" TSP returns in 2010.