5 C.F.R. PART 1690—THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN


Title 5 - Administrative Personnel


Title 5: Administrative Personnel

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PART 1690—THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN

Section Contents

Subpart A—General

§ 1690.1   Definitions.

Subpart B—Miscellaneous

§ 1690.11   Plan year.
§ 1690.12   Power of attorney.
§ 1690.13   Guardianship and conservatorship orders.
§ 1690.14   Checks made payable to the Thrift Savings Plan.


Authority:  5 U.S.C. 8474.

Source:  68 FR 35519, June 13, 2003, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General
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§ 1690.1   Definitions.
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As used in this chapter:

Account or individual account means the account established for a participant in the Thrift Savings Plan under 5 U.S.C. 8439(a).

Account balance means the sum of the dollar balances for each source of contributions in each TSP Fund for an individual account. The dollar balance in each fund on a given day is the product of the total number of shares in that fund multiplied by the share price for the fund on that day.

Agency automatic (1%) contributions means any contributions made under 5 U.S.C. 8432(c)(1) and (c)(3).

Agency matching contributions means any contributions made under 5 U.S.C. 8432(c)(2).

Basic pay means basic pay as defined in 5 U.S.C. 8331(3). For CSRS and FERS employees, it is the rate of pay used in computing any amount the individual is otherwise required to contribute to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund as a condition of participating in the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees' Retirement System, as the case may be. For members of the uniformed services, it is basic pay payable under 37 U.S.C. 204 and compensation received under 37 U.S.C. chapter 206.

Board means the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board established under 5 U.S.C. 8472.

C Fund means the Common Stock Index Investment Fund established under 5 U.S.C. 8438(b)(1)(C).

Catch-up contributions mean TSP contributions from taxable basic pay that are made by participants age 50 and over, which exceed either the elective deferral limit of 26 U.S.C. 402(g), or the maximum contribution percentage limit of 5 U.S.C. 8351(b) (for CSRS participants), 5 U.S.C. 8432(a) (for FERS participants), or 5 U.S.C. 8440f(a) (for all other participants).

Contribution allocation means the participant's apportionment of his or her future contributions, loan payments, and transfers or rollovers from eligible employer plans or traditional IRAs among the TSP Funds.

Contribution election means a request by an employee to start contributing to the TSP, to change the amount of contributions made to the TSP each pay period, or to terminate contributions to the TSP.

Court of competent jurisdiction means the court of any state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Virgin Islands, and any Indian court as defined by 25 U.S.C. 1301(3).

CSRS means the Civil Service Retirement System established by 5 U.S.C. chapter 83, subchapter III, or any equivalent Federal retirement system.

CSRS employee or CSRS participant means any employee or participant covered by CSRS.

Date of appointment means the effective date of an employee's accession as established by the current employing agency.

Day means calendar day, unless otherwise stated.

Eligible employer plan means a plan qualified under I.R.C. section 401(a) (26 U.S.C. 401(a)), including a section 401(k) plan, profit-sharing plan, defined benefit plan, stock bonus plan, and money purchase plan; an annuity plan described in I.R.C. section 403(a) (26 U.S.C. 403(a)); an annuity contract described in I.R.C. section 403(b) (26 U.S.C. 403(b)); and an eligible deferred compensation plan described in I.R.C. section 457(b) (26 U.S.C. 457(b)) which is maintained by an eligible employer described in I.R.C. section 457(e)(1)(A) (26 U.S.C. 457(e)(1)(A)).

Employer contributions means agency automatic (1%) contributions under 5 U.S.C. 8432(c)(1) or 8432(c)(3), and agency matching contributions under 5 U.S.C. 8432(c)(2) or 5 U.S.C. 8440e(e).

Employing agency means the organization that employs an individual eligible to contribute to the TSP and that has authority to make personnel compensation decisions for the individual. It includes the uniformed services.

Executive Director means the Executive Director of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board under 5 U.S.C. 8474.

F Fund means the Fixed Income Investment Fund established under 5 U.S.C. 8438(b)(1)(B).

FERS means the Federal Employees' Retirement System established by 5 U.S.C. chapter 84 or any equivalent Federal retirement system.

FERS employee or FERS participant means any employee or TSP participant covered by FERS.

FERSA means the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986 (FERSA), Public Law 99–335, 100 Stat. 514. The provisions of FERSA that govern the TSP are codified primarily in subchapters III and VII of Chapter 84 of Title 5, United States Code.

Former spouse means (as defined at 5 U.S.C. 8401(12)) the former spouse of a TSP participant if the participant performed at least 18 months of civilian service creditable under 5 U.S.C. 8411 as an employee or member, and if the participant and former spouse were married to one another for at least nine months.

G Fund means the Government Securities Investment Fund established under 5 U.S.C. 8438(b)(1)(A).

G Fund interest rate means the interest rate computed under 5 U.S.C. 8438(e)(2).

I Fund means the International Stock Index Investment Fund established under 5 U.S.C. 8438(b)(1)(E).

In-service withdrawal request means a properly completed withdrawal election for either an age-based in-service withdrawal or a financial hardship in-service withdrawal, on any form required by the TSP, together with the supporting documentation required by the application.

Plan participant or participant means any person with an account in the Thrift Savings Plan or who would have an account but for an employing agency error.

Post-employment withdrawal request means a properly completed withdrawal election on any form required by the TSP in order for a participant to elect a post-employment withdrawal of his or her account balance.

Posting means the process of crediting or debiting transactions to an individual account.

Posting date means the date on which a transaction is credited or debited to a participant's account.

Regular employee contributions mean TSP contributions from taxable basic pay that are subject to the Internal Revenue Code limits on elective deferrals and contributions to qualified plans (26 U.S.C. 402(g) and 415(c), respectively), and the maximum contribution percentage limits of 5 U.S.C. 8351(b), 5 U.S.C. 8432(a), or 5 U.S.C. 8440f(a).

S Fund means the Small Capitalization Stock Index Investment Fund established under 5 U.S.C. 8438(b)(1)(D).

Separation from Government service means generally the cessation of employment with the Federal Government. For civilian employees it means termination of employment with the U.S. Postal Service or with any other employer from a position that is deemed to be Government employment for purposes of participating in the TSP, for 31 or more full calendar days. For uniformed services participants it means the discharge from active duty or the Ready Reserve or the transfer to inactive status or to a retired list as more fully described in 5 CFR 1604.2.

Share means a portion of a TSP Fund. Transactions are posted to accounts in shares at the share price of the date the transaction is posted. The number of shares for a transaction is calculated by dividing the dollar amount of the transaction by the share price of the appropriate date for the fund in question. The number of shares is computed to four decimal places.

Share price means the value of a share in a TSP Fund. The share price is calculated separately for each fund for each business day. The share price includes the cumulative net earnings or losses for each fund through the date the share price is calculated.

Source of contributions means regular employee contributions, agency automatic (1%) contributions, or agency matching contributions. All amounts in a participant's account are attributed to one of these three sources. (Catch-up contributions, transfers, rollovers, and loan payments are included in the regular employee contribution source.)

Spouse means the person to whom a TSP participant is married on the date he or she signs a form on which the TSP requests spousal information, including a spouse from whom the participant is legally separated, and a person with whom a participant is living in a relationship that constitutes a common law marriage in the jurisdiction in which they live. [Where a participant is seeking to reclaim an account that has been forfeited pursuant to 5 CFR 1650.16, spouse also means the person to whom the participant was married on the withdrawal deadline.]

Tax-deferred balance means employee or employer contributions that would otherwise be includible in gross income if paid directly to the participant and earnings on those contributions.

Tax-exempt balance means employee contributions that are made by uniformed services participants from pay subject to the combat zone tax exclusion. It does not include earnings on such contributions.

Thrift Savings Fund or Fund means the Fund described in 5 U.S.C. 8437.

Thrift Savings Plan, TSP, or Plan means the Thrift Savings Plan established under subchapters III and VII of the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986, 5 U.S.C. 8351 and 8401–8479.

Thrift Savings Plan Service Office or TSPSO means the office of the TSP record keeper, which provides service to participants. The TSPSO's address is: Thrift Savings Plan Service Office, National Finance Center, P.O. Box 61500, New Orleans, Louisiana 70161–1500.

ThriftLine means the automated voice response system by which TSP participants may, among other things, access their accounts by telephone. The ThriftLine can be reached at (504) 255–8777.

Traditional IRA means an individual retirement account described in I.R.C. section 408(a) (26 U.S.C. 408(a)) and an individual retirement annuity described in I.R.C. section 408(b) (26 U.S.C. 408(b)) (other than an endowment contract).

TSP Fund means an investment fund established pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 8438 and an investment allocation fund established pursuant to 5 CFR Part 1601, subpart E.

TSP record keeper means the entities the Board engages to perform record keeping services for the Thrift Savings Plan.

TSP Web site means the Internet location maintained by the Board, which contains information about the TSP and by which TSP participants may, among other things, access their accounts by computer. The TSP Web site address is www.tsp.gov.

Uniformed services means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Vested account balance means that portion of an individual's account which is not subject to forfeiture under 5 U.S.C. 8432(g).

[68 FR 35519, June 13, 2003, as amended at 70 FR 32218, June 1, 2005]

Subpart B—Miscellaneous
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§ 1690.11   Plan year.
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The Thrift Savings Plan's plan year is established on a calendar-year basis for all purposes, except where another applicable provision of law requires that a fiscal year or other basis be used. As used in this section, the term “calendar-year basis” means a twelve-month period beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31 of the same year.

§ 1690.12   Power of attorney.
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(a) A participant or beneficiary can appoint an agent to conduct business with the TSP on his or her behalf by using a power of attorney (POA). The agent is called an attorney-in-fact. The TSP must approve a POA before the agent can conduct business with the TSP; however, the TSP will accept a document that was signed by the agent before the TSP approved the POA. The TSP will approve a POA if it meets the following conditions:

(1) The POA must give the agent either general or specific powers, as explained in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section;

(2) A notary public or other official authorized by law to administer oaths or affirmations must authenticate, attest, acknowledge, or certify the participant's or beneficiary's signature on the POA; and

(3) The POA must be submitted to the TSP recordkeeper for approval.

(b) General power of attorney. A general POA gives an agent unlimited authority to conduct business with the TSP, including the authority to sign any TSP-related document. By way of example, a POA grants such authority by authorizing the agent to act on behalf of the participant or beneficiary with respect to “all matters,” “personal property,” “Federal Government retirement benefits,” or “business transactions.”

(c) Specific power of attorney. A specific power of attorney gives an agent the authority to conduct specific TSP transactions. A specific POA must expressly describe the authority it grants. By way of example, a specific POA may authorize an agent to “obtain information about my TSP account” or “borrow or withdraw funds from my TSP account.”

[69 FR 29852, May 26, 2004]

§ 1690.13   Guardianship and conservatorship orders.
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(a) A court order can authorize an agent to conduct business with the TSP on behalf of an incapacitated participant or beneficiary. The agent is called a guardian or conservator and the incapacitated person is called a ward. The TSP must approve a court order before an agent can conduct business with the TSP; however, the TSP will accept a document that was signed by the agent before the TSP approved the court order. The TSP will approve a court order appointing an agent if the following conditions are met:

(1) A court of competent jurisdiction (as defined at 5 CFR 1690.1) must have issued the court order;

(2) The court order must give the agent either general or specific powers, as explained in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section;

(3) The agent must satisfy the TSP that he or she meets any precondition specified in the court order, such as a bonding requirement;

(4) The court order must be submitted to the TSP record keeper for approval.

(b) General grant of authority. A general grant of authority gives a guardian or conservator unlimited authority to conduct business with the TSP, including the authority to sign any TSP-related document. By way of example, an order gives a general grant authority by appointing a “guardian of the ward's estate,” by permitting a guardian to “conduct business transactions” for the ward, or by authorizing a guardian to care for the ward's “personal property” or “Federal Government retirement benefits.”

(c) Specific grant of authority. A specific grant of authority gives a guardian or conservator authority to conduct specific TSP transactions. Such an order must expressly describe the authority it grants. By way of example, an order may authorize an agent to “obtain information about the ward's TSP account” or “borrow or withdraw funds from the ward's TSP account.”

[69 FR 29852, May 26, 2004]

§ 1690.14   Checks made payable to the Thrift Savings Plan.
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(a) Accord and satisfaction. The TSP does not agree to accept less than the total amount due by negotiating an instrument such as a check, share draft or money order with a restrictive legend on it (such as “payment in full” or “submitted in full satisfaction of claims”), or by negotiating an instrument that is conditionally tendered to the TSP with an offer of compromise.

(b) TSP Payment Address. The TSP has established an address for the receipt of specified TSP payments. The TSP will not answer correspondence mailed to that payment address.

[70 FR 32218, June 1, 2005]

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