Fedweek

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Federal employees who file standard financial disclosure statements will not have to disclose holdings in mutual funds through the upcoming TSP investment window but individual agencies may have such requirements, the Office of Government Ethics has said.

“Employees are not required to report mutual funds held through the TSP mutual fund window on their public or confidential financial disclosure reports,” the OGE said in a legal advisory to agencies. That’s because the law and prior OGE guidance exclude from public financial disclosure the reporting of “financial interests in or income derived from” investments in retirement savings programs such as the TSP, it said.

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“These exclusions apply broadly to all investments in federal retirement plans, including all investment options in such plans,” it said.

Similarly, it said, investments in mutual funds through the TSP will be exempt from financial conflict of interest law. “This exemption covers the entirety of the TSP, and, similar to the employee benefit plan exemption for “[a] pension plan established or maintained by a state government or any political subdivision of a state government for its employees,” makes no differentiation based on investment options,” it said.

However, it adds that “Agencies that have adopted prohibited holdings restrictions or additional confidential financial disclosure requirements through supplemental ethics regulations must determine if those regulations apply to mutual fund investments in the Thrift Saving Plan and, if they do, advise their employees of the relevant requirements.”

Further, agencies “may wish to adopt supplemental regulations that prohibit investment in certain mutual funds held through the TSP or that require confidential disclosure of funds purchased through the TSP,” it said.

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