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

Jan 20, 2022 Close Change YTD*
L Income 23.1883 -0.0487 5.42%
L 2025 11.9651 -0.0472 9.75%
L 2030 42.1747 -0.2353 12.37%
L 2035 12.6589 -0.0777 13.43%
L 2040 47.8799 -0.3207 14.51%
L 2045 13.1065 -0.0942 15.40%
L 2050 28.7010 -0.2205 16.34%
L 2055 14.1138 -0.1333 19.90%
L 2060 14.1136 -0.1332 19.90%
L 2065 14.1134 -0.1332 19.90%
G Fund 16.7510 0.0008 1.38%
F Fund 20.4699 0.0225 -1.46%
C Fund 67.7127 -0.7512 28.68%
S Fund 74.7229 -1.1189 12.45%
I Fund 38.6721 -0.1973 11.45%
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.