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ebgard15  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 5:28:22 AM(UTC)
ebgard15

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I thought this would be easy to find but I can't seem seem to figure out how to change the automatic 1% to 5%. Do I have to call the Thriftline or can I do this from tsp.gov? I've only been an employee for about 45 days but I would like to get the 5% match started going into the new year. Thanks
martyb  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 5:39:25 AM(UTC)
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You can go onto the TSP website at www.tsp.gov.  There, you register, and can then go in & make changes in your contribution allocations and make interfund transfers.  As far as increasing or decreasing the amount you have witheld from your pay and allocated to the TSP, that will depend on which agency you work for, it varies.  In my case, I work for DoD, and use a system called ebis.  When I worked for the Air Force, even though it's still DoD, I used the Air Force's AFPC, or Air Force Personnel Center.  You need to ask your supervisor or co-workers for some help with this one.  Or...you can post who you work for and somebody here will come along & tell you what you need to do in your specific case.
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wundergov2b  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 5:40:27 AM(UTC)
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Your mandatory minimum is only 1%?  Ours is 3%.  I don't know what agency you're with but if you use the NFC/EPP site, go to https://www.nfc.usda.gov/personal/index.aspx and after going to TSP, just click on "Self-Service" in upper right corner.
 
Also, there is a Pay and Benefits section of this board that may be better suited to answer those kind of questions.  Either way, good luck.
oktoots  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 5:47:43 AM(UTC)
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ebgard15 wrote:
I thought this would be easy to find but I can't seem seem to figure out how to change the automatic 1% to 5%. Do I have to call the Thriftline or can I do this from tsp.gov? I've only been an employee for about 45 days but I would like to get the 5% match started going into the new year. Thanks

 
When you get to TSP.gov, click on forms and publications. When you get to that page, click on TSP-1 on the lower right. That will bring up the form you need to change your contribution percentage.
oktoots2010-11-23 13:55:04
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martyb  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 5:51:43 AM(UTC)
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oktoots wrote:
ebgard15 wrote:
I thought this would be easy to find but I can't seem seem to figure out how to change the automatic 1% to 5%. Do I have to call the Thriftline or can I do this from tsp.gov? I've only been an employee for about 45 days but I would like to get the 5% match started going into the new year. Thanks

 
When you get to TSP.gov, click on Eligibility and Contributions. When you get to that page, click on TSP-1 on the lower right. That will bring up the form you need to change your contribution percentage.
 
Yes, you can do it that way, but you can also find out where the site is to do it electronically through your pay system, as I suggested.  As oktoots is pointing out, you can do pretty much any TSP transaction using the forms on the TSP site.   Then, you either fax or mail it in.  Me, I'm too impatient, I like to go the electronic route.  Up to you.
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kg78  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 5:57:08 AM(UTC)
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The automatic 1% isn't something that YOU contribute.  It's something your agency gives you.  It's not coming out of your salary.  If you want to start contributing out of your own salary, you can, however.  There are a couple of different places/ways to manage your TSP account and contributions.  First, you will need to have the paycheck deduction done.  The BEST place to find out how that happens is to go to your agency HR folks.  If you're specific office has HR reps in it, you can ask one of them.  If not, you'll want to talk to someone in your agency's HR that deals with benefits, and find out how you can have money for TSP automatically deducted from your paycheck.  It very well might be something you can manage yourself via an online site, but different agencies use different things.  The FAA, for example, uses a site called Employee Express.  ALOT of agencies use this site, so it might be worth going on your own to check it out.  The site is employeeexpress.gov.  If your agency uses employee express, you'll get an automatically generated login ID and password sent to you through US mail (if I recall correctly...it's been a little over a year, so I may not be).  You'll ALSO be given an automatically generated login ID and password for the TSP site at tsp.gov.
 
Employee express allows you to control how much is being withdrawn from your paycheck but also allows you to do things like print pay stubs, etc as paycheck verification (in case you need it for something like a car loan).  TSP allows you to change the allocations of where the TSP money goes once it's withdrawn from your paycheck (for example what funds you're invested in).  Keep in mind that even if you don't get any money withdrawn from your paycheck for TSP, you'll still be given an auto-generated login for TSP because the agency automatically gives you 1% and you still get to control how that 1% is invested.  I think it may have taken a month to a month and a half for me to get the logins through the mail.  Your HR people can give you a better idea on what to expect.
martyb  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 6:01:33 AM(UTC)
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kg78 wrote:
The automatic 1% isn't something that YOU contribute.  It's something your agency gives you.  It's not coming out of your salary.  If you want to start contributing out of your own salary, you can, however.  There are a couple of different places/ways to manage your TSP account and contributions.  First, you will need to have the paycheck deduction done.  The BEST place to find out how that happens is to go to your agency HR folks.  If you're specific office has HR reps in it, you can ask one of them.  If not, you'll want to talk to someone in your agency's HR that deals with benefits, and find out how you can have money for TSP automatically deducted from your paycheck.  It very well might be something you can manage yourself via an online site, but different agencies use different things.  The FAA, for example, uses a site called Employee Express.  ALOT of agencies use this site, so it might be worth going on your own to check it out.  The site is employeeexpress.gov.  If your agency uses employee express, you'll get an automatically generated login ID and password sent to you through US mail (if I recall correctly...it's been a little over a year, so I may not be).  You'll ALSO be given an automatically generated login ID and password for the TSP site at tsp.gov.
 
Employee express allows you to control how much is being withdrawn from your paycheck but also allows you to do things like print pay stubs, etc as paycheck verification (in case you need it for something like a car loan).  TSP allows you to change the allocations of where the TSP money goes once it's withdrawn from your paycheck (for example what funds you're invested in).  Keep in mind that even if you don't get any money withdrawn from your paycheck for TSP, you'll still be given an auto-generated login for TSP because the agency automatically gives you 1% and you still get to control how that 1% is invested.  I think it may have taken a month to a month and a half for me to get the logins through the mail.  Your HR people can give you a better idea on what to expect.
 
 
I guess I should have read a little more closely...I thought the OP meant how to increase or decrease their own contributions.  Of course, it's all tied together.  When they increase the amount contributed from their pay, that will increase the automatic matching amounts.  Oh well...
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kg78  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 6:23:00 AM(UTC)
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no worries marty.  The way he phrased it, it does look like he was talking about contributions he makes, but being that he's a brand new employee who has never changed his contributions, and it's 1%....well, I was just making an educated guess that what he was asking wasn't really what he meant. :)
ebgard15  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 3:33:08 PM(UTC)
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martyb wrote:
You can go onto the TSP website at www.tsp.gov.  There, you register, and can then go in & make changes in your contribution allocations and make interfund transfers.  As far as increasing or decreasing the amount you have witheld from your pay and allocated to the TSP, that will depend on which agency you work for, it varies.  In my case, I work for DoD, and use a system called ebis.  When I worked for the Air Force, even though it's still DoD, I used the Air Force's AFPC, or Air Force Personnel Center.  You need to ask your supervisor or co-workers for some help with this one.  Or...you can post who you work for and somebody here will come along & tell you what you need to do in your specific case.

I work for DOD.....I'm not sure if it is 1% or 3% right now, I just know it is not very much based on what I see in my LES so I am trying to get the highest match I can. 
kg78  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 9:25:14 PM(UTC)
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ebgard15 wrote:
martyb wrote:
You can go onto the TSP website at www.tsp.gov.  There, you register, and can then go in & make changes in your contribution allocations and make interfund transfers.  As far as increasing or decreasing the amount you have witheld from your pay and allocated to the TSP, that will depend on which agency you work for, it varies.  In my case, I work for DoD, and use a system called ebis.  When I worked for the Air Force, even though it's still DoD, I used the Air Force's AFPC, or Air Force Personnel Center.  You need to ask your supervisor or co-workers for some help with this one.  Or...you can post who you work for and somebody here will come along & tell you what you need to do in your specific case.

I work for DOD.....I'm not sure if it is 1% or 3% right now, I just know it is not very much based on what I see in my LES so I am trying to get the highest match I can. 
 
The highest match you can get is 5%.  If you contribute 5%, your agency will contribute 5%.  The first 1% is free from your agency regardless of whether you contribute.  Then, for the next 3% you put in, the agency will give a dollar for dollar match (so if you're putting in 3% of your own salary, your agency is giving you 4% as a match).  The last 2% you contribut get a half a percent match.  So if you contribute 4%, your agency is giving you 4.5%.  If you contribute 5%, your agency gives you 5%.
martyb  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 9:37:23 PM(UTC)
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And...if your plan is to end up with a large amount in your TSP when you retire, enough to actually be one of the legs of the three-legged retirement stool that FERS employees are always hearing about (I'm not FERS) you need to go well beyond the 5% contribution.  I currently max my TSP at $22,500 per year in contributions.  I am past age 50 though.... martyb2010-11-24 05:42:38
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kg78  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 10:15:44 PM(UTC)
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For brand new employees it can be a little more difficult to save the max each year right off the bat.  Especially if they are coming off a period of unemployment, where debts might have stacked up.
 
You definitely should be putting in at LEAST the bare minimum to get the maximum match from your agency.  If you have trouble saving more, you might try upping your savings percentage by 1% of your salary each year until you're saving the max.
 
One hinky thing you'll need to keep in mind if you DO max out the TSP contributions....the agency match is put in each pay period as a percentage of your pay for that pay period.  So if you max out your contribution 6 months into the year, you're really only going to get a 2.5% match from the agency because what will happen is you'll get the 5% match for the first half of the year and then not get it for the second half because your contributions will have stopped.  So instead, you'll want to divide $16,500/26 pay periods to figure out how much you should be putting in each pay period.
Knight  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, November 23, 2010 11:43:07 PM(UTC)
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Since you are DoD you might be using MYPAY to handle your personal pay account. You can set up your TSP withdrawals there. You can put in a dollar amount or a percentage. As others have said, start of at 5% and work your way up. Good luck.
 
Next you will have to learn about what funds to put your money in :)
ebgard15  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, November 24, 2010 4:34:04 AM(UTC)
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so do I have to send in paperwork to change the contribution or can I do it online through the TSP site? I went to the forms section but it appears that you have to print out that TSP-1 form and fax it off somewhere..or is there another option?
delois62  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, November 24, 2010 4:53:13 AM(UTC)
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Do you use Employee Express?  You can change your contributions on that website.
ebgard15  
#16 Posted : Wednesday, November 24, 2010 4:58:48 AM(UTC)
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no I do not use employee express..the only sites I have used thus far are MyPay and the TSP website. I went into TSP and moved the funds around a little but I don't see anything for changing my contribution, just the TSP calculator
Knight  
#17 Posted : Wednesday, November 24, 2010 5:33:51 AM(UTC)
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Go into MYPAY and half way down is the my Pay TSP link and there you can put in a dollar amount or a percentage.
ebgard15  
#18 Posted : Wednesday, November 24, 2010 6:50:22 AM(UTC)
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is it on the main page or after you login to MyPay? all I see is the TSP external link on the right side...I do not see a TSP option after I log in
HappyPuppy  
#19 Posted : Wednesday, November 24, 2010 7:08:59 AM(UTC)
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Yes, if you're at the mypay home page, it's one of the external links on your right hand side.

Here's a direct link:  https://www.tsp.gov/index.shtml 

You may not have the information you need yet.  It took me a few weeks to get my TSP account number and password (mailed separately) sent to my home address.  Only with that information can you change things on the tsp website, including contribution level and types of funds to invest in.

But for the contribution alone, you should be able to change that wherever you made your decisions for health insurance/life insurance.  Since you're DoD, something like EBIS?  If you're not sure, stop by or call your HR representatives and they should be able to steer you in the right direction.

kg78  
#20 Posted : Thursday, November 25, 2010 10:35:47 PM(UTC)
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HappyPuppy, I think you're confused.  He's not looking for the TSP login.  He's already found TSP and logged into it.  He wants to change how much money is directed into TSP.  For that, he'll have to use the MyPay site to increase his TSP contributions.
 
I'm not familiar with MyPay (we use Employee Express here), so I'll defer to the other DoD folk here. :)
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