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Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

The Thrift Savings Plan is a retirement savings plan for Federal civilian employees serving on permanent appointments or temporary appointments of 1 year or more. You may elect to enroll in the TSP within 60 days of your appointment or during the TSP Open Seasons which occur twice each year. Your election will remain in effect until you submit another election during a subsequent TSP Open Season or until you leave Federal service.

However, because your TSP account is for your retirement, there are restrictions on withdrawing your money while you are employed. A major advantage of the TSP is that you pay no taxes on contributions or earnings until you withdraw your account. Similar savings and tax advantages are available in 401(k) plans offered by corporations in the private sector.

Detailed information about the TSP. Be sure to review the informational booklet, "Summary of the Thrift Savings Plan for Federal Employees," before you make any TSP decisions. For detailed information on TSP investment funds, read the "Guide to TSP Investments."

All contributions to your account will be invested in the Government Securities and Investment (G) Fund until you direct the TSP record keeper to allocate your contributions differently. There are five TSP funds, and the Plan Summary and the Investment Guide describe the funds and discuss their risks and advantages.

To allocate your contributions among the five investment funds, use the TSP Web site or call the ThriftLine at (504) 255-8777. As a newly hired employee, you will receive a TSP Personal Identification Number (PIN) in the mail when your new account has been established (6-8 weeks after you begin participating or receive agency contributions). You will need your Social Security number and your TSP PIN to make an investment election.

(TSP-1) - Thrift Savings Plan Election Form and Instructions PDF [240.46 K]

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Human Resources Division | (301) 763-4748 |  Last Revised: April 08, 2013