Federal Government Now Offers New Retirements Savings Plan For Personnel
The federal government’s new 401(k)-style retirement savings plan called the Blended Retirement System for military employees and officials went into effect Jan. 1.
As of Jan. 1, any person who signs up with the military is effectively enrolled in this plan. The system encompasses both an employer match to any TSP investments and pension plan.
Military personnel and officials have until the end of 2018 – Dec. 31, 2018 – to decide if they will stay with their present retirement system or switch to the new one. Once they decide, they cannot change their minds.
A YouTube video posted by TSP gives an in-depth look about the plans; there are also two physical books that can help military personnel understand what the programs are about and how to use the retirement savings program. Current personnel have been advised to read the frequently asked questions and watch a video made about the two plans before they make their decision.
The array of investment portfolios for the TSP had modest gains at the end of 2017:
- The I Fund (International Fund) increased 1.60 percent alone in December. Its total yearly amount was 25.42 percent.
- The C Fund (common stocks) saw a 1.11 percent increase in December, for a grand total of 21.82 percent for 2017.
- The S Fund (comprised of both small and midsize company investments) saw a 0.47 percent increase for December, with an overall yearly total of 18.22 percent.
- The F Fund (fixed income) saw a 0.48 percent increase for December with a82 percent increase in 2017.
- The G Fund (for government securities) had a 0.20 percent increase in December and had a year increase of 2.33 percent.
TSP’s life-cycle funds ended the 2017 year in the black. These funds move investments into more stable options as people near their retirement.
The L Income Fund saw a rise of 0.41 percent:
- L 2020 – 0.57 percent
- L 2030 – 0.81 percent
- L 2040 – 0.92 percent
- L 2050 – 1 percent
For 2017, the overall increase for the L Fund was 6.19 percent:
- L 2020 – 9.86 percent
- L 2030 – 14.54 percent
- L 2040 – 16.877 percent
- L 2050 – 18.81 percent
According to the Office of Personnel Management, agencies are no longer allowed to use the emergency leave transfer program. The program was set up in October 2017 after the Northern California wildfires. It offered federal employees affected by the wildfires time off.
Kathleen McGettigan, acting OPM director, said another program should be set up soon. She said after talking with several federal agencies to look at the impact these employees had, it was noted that setting up an ELTOP for other emergencies was needed. McGettigan said agencies might have to use several, simultaneous ELTPs.
She also provided assistance to agencies in the fall on how to handle multiple programs that allowed employees to donate excess leave to other employees in a disaster area. This was set up after multiple U.S. regions were hit by hurricanes in a short timeframe.
McGettigan said the OPM may transfer extra leave from one agency to another one, but only if there’s not enough donated yearly leave to meet the recipients’ needs of that agency.