Q. I am concerned about the stolen data from a TSP-contracted computer that’s been in the news recently. I know TSP is assuring everyone the information has not been used, and they are offering those affected a credit monitoring service for one year free. That does little to comfort me that the money in my Thrift Savings Plan (or IRAs in mutual fund companies elsewhere) is secure. Banks have FDIC. Savings and loans and credit unions also have insurance to protect depositors from theft. Is there anything out there we can rely on to assure reimbursement if our TSP or mutual fund accounts are cleaned out by hackers — like insurance of some type?
A. Your TSP investment assets are not segregated from the rest of the plan’s assets, so they can’t really be stolen from you. What you really own is a record of your entitlement to a certain value. As long as that record exists, the government guarantees the value. If the record is wiped away by hackers, what good would insurance do? To file a claim, you’d have to produce proof that you were entitled to the value, and if you can produce the proof, you haven’t lost the value. Your TSP investment is as safe as any investment you’ll find.