New features for TSP participants

For the first time, you can make changes daily to the way your funds are allocated among the G, F, C, S and I funds. Your account now consists of shares in each fund, and you can see what your shares are worth each day, based on market fluctuations and any contributions from your pay.

Here are some of the Thrift Savings Plan's other new features:

Automated services: Via the Web (www.tsp.gov) or the ThriftLine [(504) 255-8777], you can check the status of a loan or withdrawal request, re-allocate existing shares, change the allocation of future contributions, change or request a personal identification number, and get loan balances and prepayment amounts. On the Web site, you can begin a loan or withdrawal request.

Statements: Instead of twice a year, you will get statements quarterly. A special transition statement will be issued in October for June through September.

Loans: Loans will appear on your quarterly statement. You have an extra year in which to repay general purpose loans, which now can extend for five years. You can re-amortize your loan as often as you want, and it can be directly deposited into your savings or checking account.

Catch-up contributions: Participants who are 50 or older and are making maximum employee contributions can make special additional contributions, beginning Aug. 1.

Withdrawals: There is more flexibility in how you can take your money when you leave the government. It is easier to make hardship withdrawals when you are still employed. Money can be directly deposited into your savings or checking account.

The TSP has additional features online at www.tsp.gov/forms/tsplf11.html. Do you like the new Web services? Let us know at tsp@fcw.com

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