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Thrift Savings Plan Open Season Starts

By Douglas J. Gillert
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 8, 1998 – The semiannual open season for the Thrift Savings Plan runs May 15-July 31.

During this period, eligible federal civilian employees may enroll in the federal government's 401(k) investment fund. You must be a federal employee for at least six months before you can enroll in the plan. Current participants can change their future contributions or the way they invest their contributions.

Thrift Savings Plan participants can allot their investments to three different funds. The C fund, which diversifies investments in stock markets, is the riskiest but potentially the highest yielding fund. The F fund invests in notes, bonds and other obligations that return the amount invested and pay interest at a specified rate over a period of time. And the G fund invests in short-term, nonmarketable U.S. Treasury securities specifically issued to the Thrift Savings Plan. Investments earn interest at a rate equal to average market securities with four or more years of maturity.

For the 12 months ending March 31, the C fund returned 47.83 percent, the F fund returned 11.94 percent and the G fund returned 6.56 percent.

All contributions to the plan come through payroll deductions. The amount you can invest depends on your employment status. Civil Service Retirement System employees may contribute up to 5 percent of their basic pay.

Federal Employee Retirement System employees may contribute up to 10 percent of their basic pay. FERS employees also receive matching agency contributions for the first 5 percent they invest.

Thrift Savings Plan brochures and forms are available at civilian personnel offices and on the Internet at www.tsp.gov. The next open season runs Nov. 15-Jan. 31.

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