Seamless Saving with the TSP

By Beth Perry, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

Saving is hard—especially these days. You may have immediate concerns like credit card bills, car loans, or excess housing costs. But consider this: Even small amounts can become substantial savings if you start now.

Thankfully, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) makes saving easy. The TSP is the largest 401(k)-type plan in the world, and only uniformed services members and federal employees have access to it. In celebration of Military Saves Week (February 22-27), we’ll contribute a blog here regularly for the next few weeks.

Whether you’re comfortable with investing or not, the TSP’s strength is its simplicity. We offer 5 Lifecycle funds that are professionally designed based on the year you’ll need your money, and 5 individual funds you can mix and match. Take on as little or as much investment risk as you choose.

Plus, you can take us with you. Your TSP account is yours to keep whether you’re with the uniformed services for 2 years or 20. If you take a federal job after the military, you can keep contributing to the TSP. Even if you work in the private sector, you can keep your TSP account right where it is, enjoy our low fees, and manage your investments while your savings grow. In other words, you won’t have to start your retirement savings from scratch.

Signing up in myPay only takes a few minutes, and once you do, the amount you choose to contribute will automatically go into your TSP account each month. You’ll be able to manage your investments and monitor your account balance at And you can change or stop your contributions at any time.       

Ready to start saving? To sign up for the TSP or increase your contributions, log into myPay. In the “Traditional TSP and Roth TSP” section, choose how much of your pay you’d like to save (7%, for example). Then click “Save” at the bottom of the screen. You can also update your TSP mailing address in myPay.

Make sure to come back next week when we’ll share three ways to add $100,000 to your TSP account.

Similar to private sector 401(k) plans, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a defined-contribution plan that provides uniformed services members and federal employees the opportunity to save for additional retirement security. To learn more, visit

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