financial planner Stephen Zelcer

This TSP Modernization Rule has already gone into effect.

TSP modernization act changes

This TSP Modernization Rule has already gone into effect

The TSP Modernization Act is not supposed to go into effect until November 2019, but one rule has already gone into effect. 

Below is the actual language from the TSP which you won’t find anywhere because, as the letter below says, this language contradicts what’s currently written on the TSP website!

Dear Participant:

Our records indicate that in October 2017 you were sent a leaflet from the TSP explaining, in part, that if you were separated from federal service you would be required to make a full withdrawal election for your TSP account by April 1, 2019. In November 2017, however, the TSP Modernization Act was signed into law. Part of that law eliminated this full withdrawal election deadline.

The TSP Modernization Act gives the TSP until November 17, 2019, to implement its prescribed changes. We’ve identified the elimination of the full withdrawal election deadline as one part of the law we can put into effect right away. Therefore, you do not need to make a full withdrawal dlection for your TSP account now or ever. Please see the fact sheet Questions and Answers about Changes to TSP Withdrawal Options for more information about other upcoming withdrawal option changes. You can find the fact sheet on

Because we’ve decided to implement this part of the law right away, you may find content on our website that currently contradicts this letter. Please be aware that the information we’re providing to you here takes precedence over the website, which will be updated in 2019.

The leaflet sent in October 2017 also stated that if you’re separated from federal service you would need to take the IRS required minimum distribution (RMD) by April 1, 2019. The new law does not affect RMDs, so the IRS deadline remains in effect. We’ll notify you before the IRS deadline and explain your options in greater detail. Just make sure you keep your address up to date so that we can contact you. If you are not turning 70% this year, please contact us immediately to correct your date of birt

If you have questions, call the toll-free ThriftLine at 1-877-968-3778. Callers outside the United States and Canada should call 404-233-4400 (not a toll-free number). The TSP’s hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., eastern time. You can also use our Secure Message Center on the TSP website by logging into your TSP account and clicking “Message Center.” You should receive a response within two business days. You can always write to the TSP at the address shown on the letterhead. Please include your daytime telephone number and TSP account number on all correspondence so that we can identify your account. Note: If you are a member of the uniformed services, do not provide your Defense Switched Network (DSN) telephone number.


TDD: 1-TSP-THRIFT5 (1-877-847-4385)

ThriftLine: 1-TSP-YOU-FRST (1-877-968-3778)

Fax Number: 1-866-817-5023

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