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An e-mail message I just received from the Program Manager for PFM (Personal Financial Management Program) at NPC (the Navy Personnel Command) reads as follows:

"DFAS Cleveland has set up an ACTIVE DUTY hot line for servicemembers to call if they have questions concerning TSP and their account. The phone # is: 1 800 346 3374.

There are 8 options to choose from. The first 7 options provide info on TSP such as enrollment, open season, funds to contribute to, loans, how to stop/change. They can also go to www.tsp.gov for this information.

Option 8, they can speak to a customer service rep. They will be able to answer questions such as:

- Are they enrolled
- How much contribution is taken out each pay day
- How are they enrolled (i.e., basic pay, incentive, bonus, or special
pays)

If the service member has a PROBLEM"
(I assume that means with the TSP account itself) "they need to call the National Finance Center in New Orleans at (504) 255 6000.

Please disseminate."


I called the number and, much to my surprise, only had to wait on hold about 3 minutes before a customer service representative (a Mr. Bell) came on, who struck me as being both friendly and knowledgeable. Somehat encouraging, to say the least. Regards.

Mike L.
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Opps. To clarify, that was the DFAS 800 number I called. Curious, I also tried the Thrift Savings Board number. This time, only about one minute on hold, and again a person that sounded knowledgable on the other end.

Both calls were made during normal business hours during the week - about 1400 EST on a non-payday Wednesday - for what it's worth.

Mike L
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Mike,

Can you clarify the "when do you see your contributions online?" question?

LES showed that I had TSP deduction for January and for February. Finally got my PIN number to work and "account access" (as of 10 Mar) only shows one contribution to TSP (balance is approximately 1 contribution).

Will I not be able to see my Feburary contribution until 5 April? Is this situation ever going to change so that we have a little more real time vis on our accounts?

Just wondering,
Jim
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Nope, you're right, that's how it works.

Veloci
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Can you clarify the "when do you see your contributions online?" question?

LES showed that I had TSP deduction for January and for February. Finally got my PIN number to work and "account access" (as of 10 Mar) only shows one contribution to TSP (balance is approximately 1 contribution).

Will I not be able to see my Feburary contribution until 5 April? Is this situation ever going to change so that we have a little more real time vis on our accounts?


Hi, Jim

I wish I could give you a firm answer on this (more that just a general "I think things will get better once the bugs are worked out" statement, true though that may be).

The way I am thinking it works now, your contribution is taken out of your pay on the 15th and on the 1st of each month; right after the first, these contributions sent by DFAS to TSP. (What happened to your 15th check those two weeks? Maybe it contributed to the federal budget deficit). I believe that eventually (and it should be sooner rather than later) all contributions will be sent from DFAS to the NFC (the TSP record keeper) within one or two days after they are made. From that point, your money will be in the funds, earning interest. However, your actual account values will not reflect any change until the following month, since TSP valuations are only changed once per month. So your account value in early April should reflect at least all your contributions through March 1st, and probably March 15th as well.

TSP plans to go to "daily valuation" in the future (probably 2003 if we're lucky). After that happens, all contributions should hit the accounts within a day or two after they are made and immediately be reflected in the balances.

I know that this does not exactly repreaent an ideal solution; all they can apparently tell us at this point is they are working on it.

Mike L.

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