2010 and Beyond: TSP auto enrollment seen as huge success

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

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The big story of 2010 for your Thrift Savings Plan was the introduction of automatic enrollment, said Tom Trabucco, director of external affairs at the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

The program automatically enrolls new federal employees in the G Fund at 3 percent. This opt-out — opposed to opt-in — program started in August 2010 and has increased overall enrollment in TSP by nearly 1 percent, Trabucco told the DorobekINSIDER.

“When you’re running at about 4.4 million people, 1 percent is a pretty big number,” Trabucco said.

He added, “The number continues to grow. We are going to close up a gap in participation through that program.”

Trabucco said currently participation is at 83.5 percent of FERS employees. He said he expects participation to grow to the high-eighty percentage in the next five to ten years.

Other improvements
The Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2009 led to other big TSP improvements in 2010.

One change is the implementation of immediate employer contributions. Before this year, federal employees had to wait 6-8 months for employer contributions to begin. That policy had been in place for 22 years, Trabucco said.

Efforts to start immediate employer contributions were underway in the 1990s, but the $1.1 billion cost delayed passage of the measure until last year, he said.

The TSP act also made way for spousal TSP accounts. Before the change, surviving spouses of federal workers could not leave money in the TSP.

Trabucco said another highlight of 2010 for TSP was the new website, what he called a “huge undertaking.”

“It will give us great capabilities that we have not had in the past,” Trabucco said.

What do you think was the biggest story of 2010? Take our poll!

Click here to see all the stories in the ‘2010 and Beyond’ series.

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THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN TICKER

Nov 23, 2020 Close Change YTD*
L Income 21.9712 0.0175 1.01%
L 2025 10.8376 0.0193 -
L 2030 37.4105 0.0826 0.12%
L 2035 11.1230 0.0271 -
L 2040 41.6673 0.1119 -0.21%
L 2045 11.3173 0.0331 -
L 2050 24.5785 0.0774 -0.56%
L 2055 11.7046 0.0457 -
L 2060 11.7047 0.0458 -
L 2065 11.7049 0.0458 -
G Fund 16.4937 0.0011 0.82%
F Fund 21.1336 -0.0224 6.30%
C Fund 53.1722 0.3043 2.69%
S Fund 68.1804 1.1931 3.97%
I Fund 33.3313 -0.1578 -10.53%
Closing price updated at approx 6pm ET each business day. More at tsp.gov
* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.