Thrift Savings Plan – Air Force announces open season for registration

Civilian and military employees can sign up for, or change, their Thrift Savings Plan contribution amounts during the open season until June 30.
“TSP is a long-term retirement savings plan, which everyone should consider,” said Senior Master Sgt. Felipe Ortiz, superintendent of the contact center at Air Force Personnel Center located in Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. “It’s a great supplement to military and civilian retirement plans.
“It’s also important to note that TSP is not limited to investing in stocks,” said Sergeant Ortiz. “People can choose safer government securities as well.”
This open season applies only to regular TSP contributions. It does not include TSP catch-up contributions, as they are not tied to open seasons, according to Janet Thomas, of AFPC’s civilian benefits and entitlements service team.
TSP offers investors the chance for lower taxes each year they contribute while not having to pay taxes on earnings until they reach retirement.
“Eligible employees can take out loans and make in-service withdrawals from their TSP accounts,” said Ms. Thomas.
“And you can keep your account, even if you leave military or federal civilian service,” she said.
Investment money is deposited directly from each paycheck “so you never have to think about it,” said Sergeant Ortiz.
“That makes it easy to ‘pay yourself first’ while only investing what you deem appropriate,” she said.
The five TSP funds are: the Government Securities Investment (G) Fund; the Common Stock Index Investment (C) Fund; the Fixed Income Index Investment (F) Fund; the Small Capitalization Stock Index Investment (S) Fund; and the International Stock Index Investment (I) Fund.
“As with any individual retirement account, the sooner you begin contributing, the better,” said Ms. Thomas.
Contribution elections and or changes made between April 15 and June 12 will take effect June 13, for both military and civilian personnel.
Changes made on or after June 13 will become effective at the beginning of the pay period following the one in which the election is made for civilians and the following month for military.
The Thrift Savings Plan has announced several changes to the loan program effective July 1.  They are:
@ A $50 fee will be deducted from the amount of each new loan;
@ Participants will no longer be able to have two general purpose loans at the same time. However, participants will still be able to have one general purpose and one residential loan
@ When participants pay off one loan, they will not be eligible to apply for another loan for 60 days.
More information about the Thrift Savings Plan can be found in the booklet “Summary of the Thrift Savings Plan” on the TSP home page under civilian or uniformed services TSP Forms and Publications at http://www.tsp. gov/. (Courtesy of AFPC News Service)