Some participants protest new Thrift Savings Plan policy

An effort by Thrift Savings Plan officials to quell frequent online trading has drawn fire from some TSP participants, who have started an online petition protesting proposed limits on share trading.

Under an interim rule issued in January, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board granted authority to the plan’s executive director to ask frequent traders to stop the practice. Officials say excessive trading by a small number of participants — about 3,000 of the plan’s 3.8 million shareholders — has caused transaction costs, including brokers’ fees, to soar in recent years. From 2005 to 2006, those costs, which are borne by TSP shareholders, more than doubled, from $6.7 million to $15 million, officials said.

But some participants, backing a petition posted on a Web site by a newly formed online advocacy group for TSP shareholders, believe they have the right to fully manage their investments, particularly in a wildly fluctuating stock market.

“Volatility is the nature of the market and especially as evidenced these days,” wrote a participant in Virginia. “Because of this volatility, investors need to have the advantage of being able to transfer on a daily basis to protect our investments against the negative effects of volatility.”

“We should have the right to transfer our funds as we see fit,” wrote a shareholder in Washington.

“Don’t mess with my money! I should be able to move my funds when I see fit,” said another Washington participant.

Nonetheless, TSP’s cease-and-desist notifications appear to be having an impact. Only 549 of the more than 3,000 known frequent traders disregarded the new policy in February, according to a published report.

TSP has proposed a regulation that would limit interfund transfer requests to two per month. Board officials said this policy, when compared to those in the private sector, provides “the desired level of administrative simplicity, investment flexibility and security, and control over excessive trading.”

Comments on the proposal are due April 9. Officials said the results will be announced in the spring.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.