The first quarter of the year is coming to a close, which means TSP participants should look for their quarterly statements.
Tom Trabucco is the Director of External Affairs for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
On Monday’s Daily Debrief, he spoke with Amy Morris about the statements and what participants should expect.
“The first thing they should be looking for is a good quarterly statement, and we haven’t had one of those in about nine months or so. The last three months’ returns have been all positive and, providing that today and tomorrow stay on the positive note, June should be a positive month, as well.”
Trabucco says, if you are one of those investors who hasn’t looked at your statement in awhile, now is the time to do so because June is turning out to be a pleasant month, as far as TSP investment is concerned.
“We’ve got another day to go [and] these are not like the days last fall where we had those big swings over and over again, but it looks like we will have a positive month in all three stock funds — assuming that things hold where they are.”
Trabucco says, if this happens, the TSP will have its best quarter since 1998.
“As they say, some green shoots are becoming evident. We’re still not back where we were. I don’t mean to leave that vision. Last year was a very rough year, with losses in the 30’s — close to 40 — and some funds beyond 40 percent. So, we have a ways to go yet, but we are in positive territory for the year and, certainly, if we string together four positive months, that’s a good sign.”
In addition to your quarterly statement, Trabucco says the TSP’s newsletter should be arriving in your inbox or mailbox soon.
One of the reasons the two come together, he says, is because they often relate to each other.
“The main story in the newsletter [this time] . . . is ‘Have You Named a Beneficiary?’ — and this is to remind people that these account balances do belong to them; however, if they die before they’re able to begin collecting the funds, somebody gets them. If you want to designate how that is done, you should file a form TSP-3.”
If a TSP holder were to pass away without designating a beneficiary, Trabucco says there is a statutory order of precedence. This means that one’s spouse would come first, then children and so on.
He notes that you do not have to file a Designation of Beneficiary form.
Like most things involved with retirement savings, you have to look at what is best for your individual situation.