You may not know it, but the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) recently added enhanced security measures that may prevent you from logging in to your online TSP account.
All TSP participants must have an added security feature known as "two-step authorization" enabled on their accounts or they will not be able to log on to their account. And no, two-step authorization has nothing to do with boot-scooting your way across a barroom floor to country music.
If you don't have two-step authorization set up you need to do it before logging into the system. To do this you need to have a User ID. If you have forgotten your User ID you can retrieve it online.
If you don't have a User ID, you must create one by entering your TSP account number on the login page.
If you have forgotten your TSP account number you will need to call the TSP hotline at 877-968-3778 (404-233-4400 international number) to retrieve it. If you call, you should remember that Monday and Tuesday are the busiest days for the hotline, its best to call at times that are not as busy.
After calling the hotline, TSP will mail your account number to the address on file in your TSP account. You should receive it within 3 - 5 working days.
After setting up a User ID you will need to provide an email address and phone number for TSP to contact you. You may enter a landline number or mobile phone number.
Two-step authentication helps protect your account against fraud. Once signed up for it, you will get an email or text to your validated contact method containing a six-digit number every time you (or anyone else) tries to access your online account. After completing the first login screen like you've done in the past, a new page will open on your screen, requiring you to enter the number you received. You will not be logged in until you do this.
This login process is more secure because it means that online access to your account requires something you know (your account number or username and password) and something you have (the one-time code you receive by email or text). Someone who tries to log into your account fraudulently won't be able to gain access without the code.
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