Fedweek

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Overall satisfaction with the TSP remains high although account holders would like to see the program add some features, according to survey results presented at the TSP governing board meeting this week.

Among FERS investors who responded to the survey, 91 percent said they are satisfied overall, compared with the 84 percent in a nationwide poll regarding employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. Overall satisfaction similarly was 90 percent in the two prior surveys, in 2020 and 2017; the 2020 and 2021 surveys further found 35 and 42 percent “extremely” satisfied overall. (The surveys do not include active CSRS employees, who account for only a small share of account holders.)

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Among individual features, satisfaction was highest regarding account security, the variety of investment options, and the information the TSP provides on its website and in account statements. Ability to transfer money to or from other retirement savings programs and flexibility of withdrawal options were the lowest rated. In all cases, the numbers have changed little across the three polls.

Of potential new features, support was strongest for being able to designate that loans come from a specific fund, as well as from either a traditional or Roth balance, rather than on a pro-rated basis; the ability to transfer money directly from one fund to another instead of the current interfund transfer system involving redesignating percentages of the account to be in each fund; a tool to estimate how withdrawals would last through retirement; and a mobile app.

The report said that a new recordkeeping system expected to go live in mid-2022 will allow for a mobile app; it recommended that once that system is in place, the TSP should evaluate offering greater flexibility in interfund transfers and loan payouts.

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