Coming in 2022: a mobile app for federal employee retirement transactions


Officials with the federal government’s 401 (k) style retirement savings program on Tuesday highlighted several new features that the savings plan will offer participants when it completes its transition to a new accountant in the year. next.

At the monthly meeting of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which administers the TSP, program director Tanner Nohe said that by mid-2022, the TSP will offer participants new options that will make it easier for them to manage and maintain. of their accounts. secured.

Topping the list is the creation of a mobile app to allow participants to monitor and manage their accounts through their smartphones. Participants will also be able to get help in a number of ways, in addition to existing customer service options.

“We’re also adding a… virtual assistant and virtual chat for all participants,” Nohe said. “The assistant will be powered by AI and will be available 24/7. . . We will also have a virtual chat, which will be done with a live agent. “

With the advent of the mobile app, Nohe said the TSP will increase the number of services and transactions that can be done “on the go.” This will include electronic signatures, more online forms, as well as a new “concierge” service to help people transfer money from other retirement accounts into the TSP.

“It will be easier for people to manage their money once they are in the TSP, and when it comes to renewals, we will offer a concierge service to help people who want to transfer money into the plan. throughout the process, ”Nohe mentioned. “At the same time, they will be able to digitize their checks so that they no longer have to physically send them by mail. For withdrawals, we will also have an address locator service to help them process their withdrawals more easily.

The new system will also provide more flexibility in terms of TSP loans, Nohe said. Currently, the agency allows participants to have two outstanding loans: a general loan and a principal residence loan. Starting next year, the two outstanding loans will be able to be general purpose, and there will be expanded options for repaying the loans in cases where a participant has already left the federal public service.

Travel regulations for new mothers

The General Services Administration on Wednesday released a regulation expanding housing for federal employees engaged on temporary trips who are breastfeeding a new child.

Under the new rule published in the Federal Register, a federal employee who breastfeeds a child while traveling for work may bring a spouse or caregiver to watch the child while the employee works at government expense, and if no “attendant” is required, agencies may pay for services related to the storage and shipping of breast milk for the infant.

“In order not to force employees to make a choice between nursing or performing professional duties, federal agencies may recognize that a nursing employee on official travel has a special need, as verified by regulatory requirements.” , wrote the GSA. “Agencies may determine that the special need means that a spouse, nanny or other attendant can accompany the employee on the trip at government expense to supervise the child between the employee’s reasonable break periods for breastfeed while working at the temporary duty station. “

The new rule takes effect immediately.

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