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New employees to be automatically enrolled in TSP

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- New legislation that called for automatic enrollment of newly hired and eligible civilian federal employees, as well as certain rehires, into the Thrift Savings Plan began Aug. 1.

This automatic enrollment feature is in compliance with the June 22, 2009, TSP Enhancement Act that authorizes federal agencies to establish automatic enrollment for all eligible Federal Employees' Retirement System and Civil Service Retirement System employees. Affected civilian federal employees will have 3 percent of their base pay automatically deposited into their TSP account.

TSP is a tax-deferred retirement and savings plan for federal employees similar to 401(k) accounts in the private sector. The plan offers six different funds ranging from short-term U.S. Treasury securities to index funds comprised of domestic and international stocks.

Employees may stop their contributions during their first pay period to prevent contributions from automatically being deducted from their pay. Employees may also request a refund of automatic contributions and associated earnings within 90 days of the date TSP receives the first automatic contribution.

Rehired employees who were separated for less than 31 days will not be automatically enrolled.

Employees may change the percentage or amount of their contributions, start or stop their contributions at any time.

For employees covered by FERS, the Air Force will match dollar-for-dollar the first 3 percent of employees' contributions from their base pay; the next 2 percent will be matched at 50 cents on the dollar.

To learn more about TSP or to make changes to your existing account, go to https://www.tsp.gov/index.shtml. Information can also be found by searching "TSP" on AFPC's personnel services website.

For more questions, Air Force employees may call the 24-hour Total Force Service Center at (800) 525-0102 or DSN 665-5000.