TSP executive director Greg Long has announced he is leaving as of May 5, creating the first change in leadership there since he took that position in 2007. During Long’s time leading the agency–he was promoted from director of product development after one year–he oversaw changes including creation of the Roth investment option; automatic enrollment of newly hired employees replacing the former opt-in arrangement; immediate agency contributions for newly hired employees and a change in their default investment fund; and authority for spouses to keep accounts open on the death of the account holder rather than being compelled to withdraw or transfer the money. Also, automatic enrollment of new military members with government contributions is to begin in January.

Long has laid out a long-term plan for the agency that includes greater customer service, including having the TSP reach out to investors as they approach key decision points such as retirement. That plan also envisions allowing investments in mutual funds outside the TSP’s offerings; that authority–on the books since 2009–isn’t expected to be in place for another three years. The plan also envisions widened withdrawal options; the TSP recently succeeded in getting the needed legislation introduced in Congress.

The self-funding TSP has a corporate-like structure, with a governing board and the executive director much like a CEO. The TSP board will begin a nationwide search for a replacement; Ravindra Deo, who has held several high-level positions there, will take over on an acting basis.