The Thrift Savings Plan has been changing for the better ever since its inception back in 1987; and lately, the changes have been coming faster than they have in the past. Here are some of the changes that the TSP will introduce later this year.
You will be able to access TSP participant services 24/7 through a new virtual assistant. It appears that the virtual assistant will be able to help with common inquiries. You’ll also have the ability to live chat with a TSP customer service representative during business hours (in addition to being able to call the TSP as you have in the past).
The “My Account” interface has been redesigned and the Thrift Board tells us that it will be “responsive” and “mobile friendly.” We will see. In the past, not all “improvements” to the TSP website have made it easier for the user. The TSP will be providing specific advice on how to set up online access to the new interface later in the year (likely May or later).
The TSP will now have a mobile app which will allow you to monitor your account and complete transactions anytime and from anywhere on your mobile device. You’ll be able to complete many of the transactions on your mobile device that required you to use your computer in the past. You will also be able to use your device’s biometrics (e.g., fingerprint, facial recognition, etc.) for an added level of security.
Electronic signatures will now be accepted by the TSP. This will allow you to complete more transactions online, but it will not do away with the requirement for notarized signatures (e.g., spousal consent) that applies to many transactions.
The TSP is dedicating special staff to assist you with rollovers into the TSP. In addition, they are simplifying the rollover process.
The “mutual fund window” will be introduced this year too. This will allow TSP participants access to a world of mutual funds. Previous articles in the TSP Investment Report have covered the specifics of the window and how it works so we won’t expand on it here.
Expect the TSP to suspend some transactions and services in May in order to successfully implement the planned changes.
Stay on top of these changes by following the Thrift Savings Plan on Facebook or Twitter. In addition, agencies will be sending out information on these changes as they happen.