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Trump names 3 replacements for TSP board

President Donald Trump nominated three new candidates to replace Obama-era officials on the five-member Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board that manages the Thrift Savings Plan of federal employees and retirees.

Frank Dunleavy, counselor to the CEO of U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, was nominated to replace current chairman Michael Kennedy. Christopher Bancroft Burnham, chairman and CEO of Cambridge Global Capital, is replacing Ronald David McCray, while John M. Barger, managing director of Norcross Partners, will take the slot currently occupied by David Jones.

Once the nominees are confirmed by the Senate, the president designates one to serve as chairman. Board members are appointed to four-year terms, and under statute can continue to serve until replaced.

The move gives the Trump administration a majority on the Thrift Board at a time when controversy is erupting over plans to invest federal retirement fund in Chinese companies. Last November, the board affirmed a long-standing plan to shift the International Funds to a global fund -- MSCI World ex USA Investable Market Index -- which includes shares in firms with ties to the Chinese government and military.

Lawmakers including Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) have objected to the move. Waltz introduced legislation in late April that would block TSP investments in companies and funds that don't meet certain conditions, and is designed to prevent TSP funds from going to Chinese companies.

"It is absolutely crazy for our military and federal employees to be indirectly contributing to China’s military operations," Waltz said in a statement announcing the bill. "And what's worse is that nearly all of these people are completely unaware of this situation."

Responding to the FRTIB nominations, Waltz tweeted, "I hope one of their first actions is reversing our federal retirement plans funding the #CCP and #China's military!"

Reader comments

Thu, May 7, 2020 Kim PORTLAND, OR

You know as a federal employee it is a shame how much is taken from us. I have been with the VA for seventeen yrs and will have very little money for retirement. My wages are lower than out in the community. Have been putting 30% away and will barely have enough money per month after having to pay for health insurance what a joke. And then my hard working money going to someone else really. 😭

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