Net Expense Ratios of the Federal Government's Thrift Savings Plan (401k)

Federal employees and members of the uniformed services can participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a retirement savings plan created by Federal employees for themselves with low administrative and investment expenses.

The TSP is similar to 401(k) plans offered to private sector employees, except with much lower administrative and investment costs.

TSP expenses (i.e., the cost of administering the plan) include management fees for each investment fund and the costs of operating the TSP’s record-keeping system, providing participant services, and printing and mailing notices, statements, and publications.

TSP expenses are lower than the industry average as expenses are paid primarily from the forfeitures of Contributions of FERS employees who leave Federal service before they are vested, other forfeitures, loan fees, and participants’ accounts.


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