Federal Employees News Digest

GOP lawmakers seek limits on foreign TSP investments

Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) introduced legislation that would bolster ongoing efforts to bar the Thrift Savings Plan from investing in foreign index funds that included companies with ties to the Chinese government.

The Taxpayers and Savers Protection Act would specifically prevent the Federal Retirement Investment Thrift Board from investing funds in foreign markets that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board had not inspected or was forbidden from investigating due to conflict with another country's jurisdiction.

Though the bill's text did not mention specific countries, Rep. Waltz said he was worried that the TSP I-Fund would inadvertently fund foreign firms with ties to countries that were hostile to the U.S.

"Currently, the I-Fund doesn't include developing economies but last year, the FRITB board approved a change to this fund -- scheduled to go into effect later this year -- to adopt the All Countries Index, which includes adversaries like China and Russia," Rep. Waltz said in a statement announcing his bill.

Earlier this months, a group of military and intelligence veterans, wrote to the Joint Chiefs of Staff warning that adding Chinese shares to the I-Fund would both inadvertently underwrite China's military industries. The letter was arranged and promoted by a group called Committee on Present Danger: China, which is urging U.S. financial firms as well as U.S. government pension funds to divest from companies linked to China's military.

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