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Changes to TSP coming in December

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Changes are coming to the Thrift Savings Plan this December.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) --

According to the Thrift Savings Plan website, all TSP participants must have validated contact information and use two-step authentication to log in to the TSP My Account beginning in December.

“It’s a security measure,” said Vic Villarreal, 21st Force Support Squadron personal financial readiness leader. “In today’s world of high-tech and hackers, it’s another layer of security and protection against fraud. It’s in line with what other financial agencies do.”

The traditional login method, with a member’s username/account number and password, is enhanced by adding a one-time verification code members receive through email and/or text message each time the account is accessed. Someone who tries to fraudulently log in to an account won’t be able to gain access without the username/account number, the password and the one-time code.

Account holders who want to learn more about what they can do with TSP accounts can now find a series of educational and informational videos on YouTube under the TSP4gov account. These videos provide an in-depth look into retirement investment planning and answer questions that TSP investors care about the most.

The video page contains episodes for new employees, seasoned investors, military personnel and civil service employees. There are TSP webinars, ‘learn how to manage’ TSP accounts, investment options and participant testimonials — more than 60 videos and growing. The material is created by TSP experts and is free to all who are interested in growing their knowledge of the TSP investment program.

“Although these are tools for people to utilize at home,” Villareal says, “we encourage people to come in and ask questions to get individual answers, and that’s for everyone, to include DoD (Department of Defense) civilians — not just junior Airmen or people in financial trouble.”

Also, annual TSP contribution limits will increase to $19,500 starting in January 2020. The annual “Catch-Up” contribution limit, which allows people over the age of 50 to invest a little more and catch up with those who started investing earlier in life, is rising to $6,500 as well. The 2019 limits for TSP contribution and “Catch-Up” contributions, set by the Internal Revenue Service, were $19,000 and $6,000 respectively in 2019, so both have gone up by $500. Contributors are reminded to carefully calculate their contribution over the course of the calendar year. In the event contributions are maxed out prior to the end of the calendar year, agency matching contributions for remaining pay periods will be affected.

“Let’s say in October, you’ve met the $19,500 annual limit, and you were getting 5% matching contributions,” Villareal said. “For the pay periods in November and December, you would not be able to contribute any more. Therefore, you would not be receiving any additional matching funds.”