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To: Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

Federal Employees for Socially Responsible Investment Options in the Thrift Savings Plan

Federal Employees for Socially Responsible Investment Options in the Thrift Savings Plan

Create a Mutual Fund Window that would permit participants in the Thrift Savings Plan to invest in socially responsible mutual funds.

Why is this important?

Many federal government employees dedicate their careers to advancing important social objectives such as protecting the environment, enforcing labor standards, encouraging responsible corporate behavior and advancing civil rights at home or human rights abroad. I have over 20 years with the federal government in various jobs and am now working at the Department of State. I would like to be sure that my retirement funds are invested in companies that reflect the values that are important to me. Nevertheless, unlike many state and local government workers, federal employees do not have the opportunity to invest their retirement monies in mutual funds that support these same objectives.  

More than one out of every nine dollars in the United States– or $3.74 trillion - is invested according to sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) strategies. It's one of the fastest growing categories of investment. These mutual funds allow many employees across the country to ensure that their investments reflect their values on a broad range of issues from climate change and other environmental risks to human rights, decent workplaces, consumer protection, diversity and product safety. 

While federal employees do not currently have the option to participate in this kind of investment for their retirement funds, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) has recently authorized the agency managing the Thrift Savings Plan to explore the creation of a "mutual fund window," which would allow TSP investors options to invest in mutual funds beyond those limited ones currently available through the TSP. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/11/18/tsp-moves-toward-opening-investment-window/. It is important to demonstrate to the TSP there there is substantial interest among TSP investors (both current and past federal employees) to provide socially responsible options if and when this window is created.

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Reasons for signing

  • This is incredibly important and TSP has dragged it’s heels for too long. https://www.ussif.org/accesstosriinvesting There have been moves for this in the past. But still nothing. However, sadly, there does not seem to be a lot of interest in this from Feds. SRI is perceived as political instead of ethical.
  • Because our retirement dollars shouldn't have to be funneled into private prisons.
  • If more socially responsible options do not become available in the TSP, I will be forced to shift my retirement savings strategy significantly away from TSP. I would much rather stay using the TSP as my main retirement account, but it is not acceptable to me to do so without more socially responsible options available.

Updates

2016-02-23 05:13:06 -0500

100 signatures reached

2014-11-18 20:16:43 -0500

The Washington Post reported this morning that the TSP board has decided to authorize further study of creating a mutual fund window: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/11/18/tsp-moves-toward-opening-investment-window/. Now we just need to make sure that SRI options are among those made available through the creation of any such window.

2014-11-17 13:45:05 -0500

50 signatures reached

2014-11-16 21:19:38 -0500

Folks may be interested in the new developments described here: http://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2014/11/tsp-moves-closer-offering-mutual-fund-option/98888/?oref=govexec_today_nl. Assuming there is a decision to pursue such a mutual fund window, it will still be important to demonstrate our support for making SRI options among those that would be made available.

2014-11-13 12:49:40 -0500

25 signatures reached

2014-11-10 16:58:28 -0500

10 signatures reached