LEGAL/POLICY

TSP Targeted Again Over Expansion Of International Fund Investments, More

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By  Erich Wagner

The federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings programme is again in the crosshairs of some Republican lawmakers over officials’ decision to expand its international portfolio to include investments in China, Reuters reports.

In 2017, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board voted to change the index upon which the Thrift Savings Plan’s international fund is based on from the MSCI Europe, Australasia and Far East Index to the MSCI All Country World Ex-US Investable Market Index. That change, which moves the I Fund from a largely Euro-centric index to include investments in 48 countries around the world, including China and Canada, is slated for implementation later this year.

But last fall, Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., urged the TSP to reconsider that decision, citing in part Chinese companies’ involvement in that country’s human rights abuses. The board overseeing the TSP revisited the decision, but ultimately reaffirmed it, noting that the vast majority of private sector 401(k)s include similar Chinese investments, and the agency has a fiduciary duty to its participants to make decisions that best prepare them for retirement.

The independent research arm of GEMG, Government Business Council, is fielding its annual study of key government decisions in technology, management, and acquisition  and welcomes feedback from the society.

“We also understand this is a trying time for many — that many of you are carrying on the mission of government to protect and serve Americans impacted by the virus. Given these circumstances, we want to show how much we appreciate your continued participation in our surveys, and will donate a total of $3,000 to a registered 501(c)(3) charity chosen by participants after completing the survey,”TSP said.

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