Return to Table of Contents TSP Features for Uniformed Services
Understanding Your TSP Account

> How will I get information about my account?
> How do I change my address or correct other personal information for my TSP account?
> What if there is a mistake in the contributions to my account?
> Do I pay administrative expenses to cover TSP operating costs?
> How are earnings allocated to my account?
> FAQs
> Back to Features Table of Contents


How will I get information about my account?

When you are a new participant, the TSP mails you a Web password and a ThriftLine Personal Identification Number (PIN) after the first contribution is posted to your account. The Web password and your 13-digit TSP account number together comprise your secure identification for accessing your account information on this Web site. Once you have accessed your account using your account number and Web password, you may create a Custom User ID to use instead of your TSP account number on the Web site.  (However, you will still be able to use your account number to access your account).  Your PIN and TSP account number give you secure access to your account information on the ThriftLine.

The TSP Web site. The best source of information about your TSP account is the Account Access section of this Web site.  Once you access your account with your TSP account number and password — or custom user ID and password — you can find out your daily account balance, check on your loan, see the status of a loan or withdrawal request, see what your current contribution allocation is, and more. You can also use this Web site for performing a number of transactions, such as making interfund transfers or contribution allocations, requesting a new computer-generated or custom password, requesting that quarterly participant statements be mailed to you, or initiating a loan or withdrawal.

This Web site is your only source for quarterly participant statements, unless you elected to receive your statements in the mail.  New statements are posted on this Web site after the end of each calendar quarter (i.e., March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31).  The statement shows your account balance and a detailed summary of the activity in your account during the previous reporting period. If you have a loan, your quarterly loan information will also be included on your participant statement.

The ThriftLine. Another good source of information about your TSP account is the ThriftLine. You will need your TSP account number and PIN to access your account on the ThriftLine. The ThriftLine provides much of the same information and transaction capability as this Web site.  However, certain information (such as the detail on a participant statement) and transactions (such as requesting a loan or withdrawal) are not available through the ThriftLine.

For a quick reference guide, click here.

Your Earnings and Leave Statement. While you are employed, the money that you contribute to the TSP is also shown on the earnings and leave statement that you receive from your service.  You should compare the information on your earnings and leave statements to the information in your quarterly participant statements to ensure that the information that your service is providing to the TSP agrees with the information on your earnings and leave statements.

How do I change my address or correct other personal information for my TSP account? 

As long as you are an active member of the uniformed services, your service is solely responsible for making changes or corrections to your personal information such as your address, name, date of birth, and Social Security Number (SSN).  The TSP cannot accept these types of changes directly from participants.  This is because your service routinely sends personal information to the TSP for each participant, and that information supersedes any information about you that you may have provided directly to the TSP. Also, your service submits your contributions and any loan payments to the TSP.  Therefore, if you need specific information about contributions or loan payments, or general information about the TSP, you should contact your service.

However, once you are no longer an active member of the uniformed services, you should contact the TSP directly to update or correct personal information in your TSP account.  If your participant statement has old or incorrect information for you, you will need to provide the new information directly to the TSP.  In addition, once you separate from service, the TSP is your primary contact for TSP information.

Make sure to keep your address correct for your TSP account. Otherwise, you may not receive your participant statement or other important mailings (including loan or withdrawal checks).

  • Currently employed participants:  Contact your service TSP representative to change your address.
  • Separated participants:  You can change your address through this Web site or submit Form TSP-9, Change in Address for Separated Participant, to the TSP. You can also call or write to the TSP. Your signed and dated letter must include your TSP account number or your SSN and date of birth, and must identify the account or accounts, if you have both a civilian and a uniformed services account affected by this change.

What if there is a mistake in the contributions to my account?

If there is a mistake in the amount or type of contributions (i.e., tax-deferred vs. tax-exempt) of contributions to your account, your service must initiate the necessary corrections, whether you are currently employed or are separated from service.

If your service made an error, you may also be entitled to earnings lost to your account as a result.  Your service must determine your entitlement to these earnings and must initiate payment of them.  (Generally, however, your service may not pay lost earnings on contributions that it failed to deduct from your pay.)  Report any errors in your TSP account to your service TSP representative.

If there is a mistake in the allocation of your contributions among the investment funds, you should contact the TSP.  All error corrections will be reported on your quarterly participant statement.

Do I pay administrative expenses to cover TSP operating costs? 

Yes.   The TSP's administrative expenses include the operating and development costs of the record keeper's computer system, the operations of the TSP, and the printing and mailing of publications and participant statements.

Two sources of funds are used to cover the expenses of the TSP.  The first source is forfeitures of any nonvested Agency Automatic (1%) Contributions. These contributions apply to employees covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). If such employees leave Federal service before they are vested in the TSP, their Agency Automatic (1%) Contributions and earnings on those contributions are forfeited to the TSP. 

The second source of funds is earnings on participants' accounts.  Because forfeitures are not sufficient to pay all expenses, a portion of earnings is used to pay the balance of accrued administrative expenses. Accrued administrative expenses, after forfeitures, are deducted from the earnings of the G, F, C, S, and I Funds in proportion to the size of those funds.  Investment management fees of the F, C, S, and I Funds are borne exclusively by the participants investing in those funds.  (See "How are earnings allocated to my account?".)  Information on TSP expenses is provided in the annual audited financial statements of the TSP, which are posted on this Web site each May.

The administrative expenses associated with the L Funds are those associated with the underlying G, F, C, S, and I Funds, calculated in proportion to their allocations in each L Fund. The L Funds do not have any additional charges.

The effect of accrued administrative expenses (after forfeitures) on the rates of return of the TSP funds is measured by the expense ratio of each investment fund.  The expense ratio for a fund is the total of accrued administrative expenses charged to that fund during the period, divided by that fund's average balance for that period.

Your share of TSP net administrative expenses is based on the size of your account balance.  For example, the G Fund expense ratio was .03 percent in 2006.  This means that in 2006 your earnings in the G Fund were reduced approximately $.30 for every $1,000 of your G Fund account balance.  Click for additional information about the expense ratios for the TSP funds.

How are earnings allocated to my account? Return to top

At the end of each business day, after the stock and bond markets have closed, the daily net earnings for each investment fund, minus administrative expenses, transaction costs, and investment management fees, are divided by the total number of shares in that fund to determine the incremental change in the share price for that day.

The daily share price for any fund may be the same as, higher than, or lower than the share price for the previous day, depending on whether there was a net gain or loss in that fund for the day.  The daily earnings for each investment fund in your account are reflected in the daily change in the share price for each fund.  For each day, the earnings for each investment fund equal the change in the share price times the number of shares in that fund at the beginning of that day.  

Your daily account balance provided on this Web site and the ThriftLine represents the current value of your account, including all earnings and other transactions — such as contributions, loan payments, withdrawals, loans, and interfund transfers — which have been processed as of the close of business on the previous business day.  

Your quarterly participant statement will express your account balance and transactions, in both shares and dollars.

The returns for the TSP funds are reported on a monthly basis on the ThriftLine and on this Web site on the TSP Funds Monthly Returns page.  The returns for the related indexes are also posted on the Returns & Share Prices page.

    Return to top of page