Do you really ‘own’ your TSP account? (by Randy Silvey)

“Ownership” is a rather fuzzy concept where federal retirement accounts are concerned. However, there is perfect clarity in recognizing feds don’t enjoy the same custody rights within their retirement nest eggs as other retirement savers do.

According to Merriam-Webster, to “own” means “to have power or mastery over.” But, do federal employees enjoy full “ownership” or “mastery” of their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) assets? Consider they have no authority to prevent the Treasury secretary from exploiting their assets held in the G-Fund. Specifically, when it is “deemed necessary” to purpose this (congressionally granted) line of credit.

Per the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board’s Director of External Affairs Kim Weaver, federal employees were maintaining nearly $219 billion (more than 45 percent of all TSP assets) in the TSP’s G fund as of Aug. 31, 2016.

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