The federal government is one of the nation’s largest employers. It employs millions of people; you may even be one of them. One of the largest perks of government employment is access to retirement security. Millions of employees participate in some sort of federal retirement savings or investment plan. The popular Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) has over 5 million participants alone.
However, your federal retirement savings may be vulnerable to fraud. The SEC is warning retirement plan participants and investors, particularly TSP participants to beware of fraudulent activity.
Beware: Federal Retirement Savings Fraud
Have you ever heard of the Federal Employee Benefits Counselors (FEBC)? If you’re a government employee involved in a federal retirement savings plan, you may have been contacted by them. They may have offered education and counseling to you as a federal employee to help optimize your federal retirement savings benefits.
That actually sounds pretty helpful, and from the name it you would think it must be affiliated with the government in some capacity… apparently not.
The SEC has actually filed a complaint against the FEBC for fraudulently inducing TSP participants into invest in privately-issued annuities. By passing-off as being a government-affiliated entity, the FEBC managed to dupe federal retirement savings participants into moving funds to third-party investments, with no federal affiliation.
If you participate in a TSP or some other type of federal retirement plan, here’s some things you should know about preventing investment fraud.
What You Need to Know About Your TSP
Your TSP is administered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. They are an independent government agency. They never directly contact federal employees about investment opportunities and they do not endorse third-party investment counselors or services.
- Never trust any unsolicited investment offer by an individual or entity claiming to be affiliated with the government or TSP in any way.
- Never provide any personal security or account information by someone claiming to be affiliated with the TSP
- To confirm whether or not a vendor is government-affiliated, you can contact the SEC’s investor assistance hotline: (800) 732-0330.
- If you have enrolled in an investment option with someone claiming to be affiliated with the TSP, contact us for a consultation.