John Grobe, Federal Career Experts
The Thrift Savings Plan has been quickly and seamlessly making changes over the last several years – up until now! If you’re reading this article, the chances are at least 50/50 that you’ve had a problem with the transition to the new system.
Perhaps I grew complacent because of successful transitions like the implementation of the Thrift Savings Plan Modernization Act (TSPMA) back in 2019. And I haven’t had many problems with the transition – but I’ve sure gotten an earful from those who have. I had no problems setting up the new “My Account” earlier this month. However, the May payment arrived two days later than when the TSP promised. We will see about the June payment which is supposed to come on June 15. I’m putting this article together on the 14 and not holding my breath. From here on out, all scheduled payments are to be made on the 15th of each month.
In a class I taught the first week of June, I had several participants tell me that when they checked their account after setting up the new My Account, they were told they had no beneficiary forms on file when they knew they did.
When I conduct classes like the one last week, I like to use the TSP website’s calculator feature to illustrate some contribution and withdrawal strategies. I went to the website’s own search feature and click on the appropriate link, only to be told that the page could not be found and to use the search feature to find it. I tried again June 14th and had the same results. Talk about a “doom loop”!
A friend and colleague told me of his lengthy attempt to set up his account and how it ultimately took three days and correspondence via USPS to resolve issues. One could say that the TSP this meets the definition of SNAFU.
Have you heard that the historical data you can retrieve online goes all the way back to June 1, 2022? Yes, that’s right, less than a month. You are instructed to call the “Thriftline” for access to documents prior to June 1, 2022. I wouldn’t want to be a Thriftline customer service representative for the next several months; I would be hearing from a high number of disgruntled participants, some of whom would take their frustration out on me. How hard could it have been to make more historical information available?
Clearly, the TSP didn’t adhere to their usual high standards in implementing the new system. Some participants feel disappointed, others feel betrayed.
A notice posted on TSP.gov reads: High ThriftLine call volume
ThriftLine call volume is currently very high, which means hold times are longer than normal. If you need help with the new My Account, please read through the list of known issues to see if the information you need is here. You can also ask the virtual assistant, AVA, for answers to most common questions. Thank you for your patience.