By John Grobe

As one door closes, another opens; so it is with the Thrift Savings Plan. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is discontinuing the venerable “Highlights” newsletter in favor of an electronic newsletter called the Thrift Savings Planner. The first issue of the Planner showed up in my inbox on July 11; and I assume that it showed up in your inbox that day too.

We should take the time to review the Planner just like we took time to read the old Highlights hard copy newsletter. For a lot of us “old-timers” it’s easier to skip over electronic missives that it is to overlook printed material. Don’t fall victim to the “I’ll look at it later” syndrome and let the Thrift Savings Planner fall to the bottom of your inbox.


The first issue of the Planner dealt with a lot of important topics. First, it exhorted readers to review their account distribution and contribution allocation on a periodic basis by using the TSP website. It also reminded readers of the upcoming changes to the Lifecycle Funds (i.e., the change to five-year increments that will occur in 2020).

The Planner also added a reminder of the changes to TSP withdrawal choices that will occur on September 15, 2019. For more detail on these changes, read the TSP’s updated Fact Sheet 10, which you can find in the “Bulletin Board” section of the TSP home page.

There’s an old saying that “forewarned is forearmed”, and we should do all we can to stay on top of TSP news and changes.