When participants in the Thrift Savings Plan next log in to their online accounts, they may notice another option available on the My Account homepage.
TSP’s recently launched “loan tracker” feature offers participants a step-by-step look at the processing of their loan applications.
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, the agency that runs the TSP, said the feature should help answer questions from participants about the progress of their loan applications, and show them what’s still missing to reach the next step of the process.
“If you have a pending loan application, it tells you where you are in the process,” Jim Courtney, director of FRTIB’s Office of Communications and Education, said during a board meeting Tuesday. “Has your spouse consented? Are your documents in order? This allows participants to check in at any time and as often as they’d like.”
Courtney said the view in My Account is akin to what TSP customer service representatives see when participants call in to ask about their loan application status. By offering the information as a “self-service” feature in My Account, the goal is to reduce the need for TSP participants to call ThriftLine, TSP’s customer service phone line, to ask questions.
The new feature of My Account is a more recent component of TSP’s larger “Converge” update in June 2022. The rollover to the new recordkeeping contractor Accenture Federal Services last year also overhauled the My Account platform and added plenty of new features for TSP. But at the same time, the update caused significant delays and frustrations for many participants.
Although many of the initial issues with the Converge update have subsided, some TSP participants are still voicing concerns about the rollover. Earlier this year, seven TSP participants filed a class-action lawsuit against FRTIB and Accenture over the rollout.
Beyond adding a mobile app, chatbot feature and changing the layout of My Account, Accenture officials said they are generally looking to incorporate a more “participant-centric” and transparent approach to the services.
Accenture first announced plans back in July to roll out the loan tracking feature this year. Now, there are plans to expand the tracking software to give participants a step-by-step look at the processing of TSP withdrawals as well.
“Right now, it’s just loans, but stay tuned — the plans are to expand to other transactions,” Courtney said.
FRTIB did not share a timeline with Federal News Network for when the feature would become available for other transactions.
And there is yet another small update coming soon for participants: mobile text alerts for progress in loan applications.
“Instead of participants having to log in to look, they will be able to sign up for text alerts, which will be sent automatically when another step in the process has happened,” Courtney said.
Still, there are other features that participants are missing from the “old TSP.” The popular annuity calculator on the legacy platform helped participants determine projected monthly payments after retirement.
Currently, an annuity calculator is only accessible once logged in to My Account. But FRTIB Director of External Affairs Kim Weaver said the board is looking to eventually return the annuity calculator to the public side of TSP’s website as well.