Confirmed nominees for the TSP Board of Directors; Rocky Start for new “My Account” features
The nominations had been delayed by the issue of Fund I investing in Chinese companies. This question could arise again now that account holders can invest in mutual funds. Image: Dilok Klaisataporn/Shutterstock.com
Update: The Senate has confirmed nominees for four of the five seats on the TSP board, placing Biden administration nominees at the helm of that board weeks after the MSPB and FLRA boards were confirmed doing the same.
Dana Bilyeu, a current TSP board member and executive director of the National Association of State Pension Administrators, has been confirmed for another term. The other confirmed nominees are Leona M. Bridges, commissioner of the San Francisco Employee Retirement System; Stacie Olivares, an investment industry veteran who currently sits on several corporate and pension boards; and Michael F. Gerber, and chief investment officer who was formerly a board member of the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System.
However, Biden’s nominee to become TSP chairman remains on hold after a split in the party line over his nomination at the committee level. They are Javier E. Saade, managing partner of Impact Master Holdings and venture capital partner at Fenway Summer and former head of the SBA in the Obama administration.
This will mean that for the time being at least the council will continue to operate with just four members, as it has done since the resignation in 2020 of one of the members. The Trump administration’s nominees to replace him and other board members have not cleared the Senate.
The nominees were confirmed in a voice vote after Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., lifted a grip on the nominations on an issue that in recent years has raised the profile of the normally low-key council, the potential expanding the international stock I fund to include China. This was reportedly one of the impacts of a decision the board made to add some two dozen additional countries to this fund, but was put on hold indefinitely in 2020 after pressure from the Trump administration.
Rubio lifted his grip after the candidates essentially promised, in response to a letter he sent them, that they would oppose the inclusion of China among the TSP bids. However, it did not address the prospect of this possibility due to outside mutual fund investments going out the window, an issue that is beginning to gain attention.
The new TSP update My account starts badly
The management change comes just after another board initiative took effect, the addition of a mutual fund window through which account holders can direct some of their money. under certain restrictions – along with other new account features. This change was accompanied by a requirement for account holders to create new online accounts, a rollout that proved difficult, with many complaining of being locked out of their accounts and long waits for responses when they call the TSP customer service line.
The TSP website tracks issues with account setup and verification – but some have reported needing to rely on USPS to complete the process, while others have reported delays with loan applications (including for primary residence), frustrating distributions and attempts to access support, long wait times, transfers and dropped calls. Many participants reported missing or incomplete records, such as beneficiary records, or limited historical stock price and performance data.
A notice on the TSP website states: ThriftLine call volume is currently very high, which means wait times are longer than normal. If you need help with the new My Account, please read the list of known issues to see if the information you need is here. You can also ask the virtual assistant, AVA, for answers to the most common questions.
The TSP board could not be reached for comment. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC, sent a letter to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board requesting an update by June 17: “It appears the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (Board) was not ready to launch the new system. I request that you respond in writing by June 17, 2022, outlining what steps the Board has taken to prepare for the launch of the new system, the cause of these issues, and how they are resolved. Federal employees and retirees must have access to their investments in the TRP. »
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