What You Should Know About the Thrift Savings Plan Update Coming in May

Soldiers learn about the Thrift Savings Plan.
U.S. Army soldiers, assigned to 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade Support Operations, attends a Thrift Savings Plan briefing at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Oct. 20, 2021. (Sgt. Marquis Hopkins/U.S. Army photo)

Jim Absher is a Military.com benefits columnist.

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) will undergo several changes in the next few months, beginning with a transition to a new service provider in May 2022, as part of a major upgrade announced on Jan. 26. Several types of transactions, as well as website access, may be unavailable for a short time during the transition process.

The Thrift Savings Plan is a 401(k)-style retirement account available to many military members and federal employees.

According to the TSP website, the transition will begin in May and is planned to be completed by early June. 

The following is a summary of the cutoff dates for major transactions before the transition: 

  • April 8 – Last day to request paper loan documents via telephone
  • April 21 – Last day to submit paper loan documents
  • April 29 – Last day to request all other paper forms.
  • May 16 – Last day to submit or access all forms (online or hard copy). This includes withdrawal, rollover or transfer requests as well as beneficiary changes. Also, this is the last day to contact TSP via email.
  • May 26 – Last day to make transfers between different mixes of investments  or change contributions, last day to contact TSP via telephone.

From May 26 at noon Eastern time through the first week of June, account access will be unavailable. However, all invested funds will continue to reflect market changes during that time period. 

When account access returns in June  you'll have new options for accessing and managing your TSP account, including the new TSP official mobile app as well as a redesigned website with expanded online options. 

Other changes scheduled to roll out with the new upgrade include live assistance and virtual chat; a new virtual assistant that provides answers to many common questions; the ability to complete many transactions online, including transferring money to and from different retirement accounts; and making loan payments and even submitting many forms that will soon will be accepted with an electronic signature.

After the upgrade, all users will need to update their login information before accessing their online account for the first time. Step-by-step prompts will be provided to help you verify your identity, update your contact information and set up your account security. 

Later this year, the TSP plans to add the ability for participants to purchase selected mutual funds through the TSP website. 

For questions, call 877-968-3778 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Monday through Friday or visit the TSP website..

Jim Absher can be reached at jim.absher@military.com.

Related: Thrift Savings Plan to Debut Mutual Funds, Mobile App and Other New Features in 2022

Show Full Article