[USC02] 5 USC PART III, Subpart G, CHAPTER 84, SUBCHAPTER VII: FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
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5 USC PART III, Subpart G, CHAPTER 84, SUBCHAPTER VII: FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
From Title 5—GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEESPART III—EMPLOYEESSubpart G—Insurance and AnnuitiesCHAPTER 84—FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM

SUBCHAPTER VII—FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

§8471. Definitions

For the purposes of this subchapter—

(1) the term "beneficiary" means an individual (other than a participant) entitled to payment from the Thrift Savings Fund under subchapter III of this chapter;

(2) the term "Council" means the Employee Thrift Advisory Council established under section 8473 of this title;

(3) the term "participant" means an individual for whom an account has been established under section 8439 of this title;

(4) the term "person" means an individual, partnership, joint venture, corporation, mutual company, joint-stock company, trust, estate, unincorporated organization, association, or labor organization; and

(5) the term "Thrift Savings Fund" means the Thrift Savings Fund established under section 8437 of this title.

(Added Pub. L. 99–335, title I, §101(a), June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 577.)

Effective Date

Subchapter VII effective June 6, 1986, see section 702(b)(1) of Pub. L. 99–335, set out as a note under section 8401 of this title.

§8472. Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

(a) There is established in the Executive branch of the Government a Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

(b) The Board shall be composed of—

(1) 3 members appointed by the President, of whom 1 shall be designated by the President as Chairman; and

(2) 2 members appointed by the President, of whom—

(A) 1 shall be appointed by the President after taking into consideration the recommendation made by the Speaker of the House of Representatives in consultation with the minority leader of the House of Representatives; and

(B) 1 shall be appointed by the President after taking into consideration the recommendation made by the majority leader of the Senate in consultation with the minority leader of the Senate.


(c) Except as provided in section 311 of the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986, appointments under subsection (a) shall be made by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(d) Members of the Board shall have substantial experience, training, and expertise in the management of financial investments and pension benefit plans.

(e)(1) Except as provided in section 311 of the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986, a member of the Board shall be appointed for a term of 4 years, except that of the members first appointed (other than the members appointed under such section)—

(A) the Chairman shall be appointed for a term of 4 years;

(B) the members appointed under subsection (b)(2) shall be appointed for terms of 3 years; and

(C) the remaining members shall be appointed for terms of 2 years.


(2)(A) A vacancy on the Board shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made and shall be subject to any conditions which applied with respect to the original appointment.

(B) An individual chosen to fill a vacancy shall be appointed for the unexpired term of the member replaced.

(3) The term of any member shall not expire before the date on which the member's successor takes office.

(f) The Board shall—

(1) establish policies for—

(A) the investment and management of the Thrift Savings Fund; and

(B) the administration of subchapter III of this chapter;


(2) review the performance of investments made for the Thrift Savings Fund; and

(3) review and approve the budget of the Board.


(g)(1) The Board may—

(A) adopt, alter, and use a seal;

(B) except as provided in paragraph (2), direct the Executive Director to take such action as the Board considers appropriate to carry out the provisions of this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter and the policies of the Board;

(C) upon the concurring votes of four members, remove the Executive Director from office for good cause shown; and

(D) take such other actions as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the Board.


(2) Except in the case of investments under section 8438(c)(2)(B), the Board may not direct the Executive Director to invest or to cause to be invested any sums in the Thrift Savings Fund in a specific asset or to dispose of or cause to be disposed of any specific asset of such Fund.

(h) The members of the Board shall discharge their responsibilities solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries under this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter.

(i) The Board shall prepare and submit to the President, and, at the same time, to the appropriate committees of Congress, an annual budget of the expenses and other items relating to the Board which shall be included as a separate item in the budget required to be transmitted to the Congress under section 1105 of title 31.

(j) The Board may submit to the President, and, at the same time, shall submit to each House of the Congress, any legislative recommendations of the Board relating to any of its functions under this title or any other provision of law.

(Added Pub. L. 99–335, title I, §101(a), June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 578; amended Pub. L. 99–509, title VI, §6001(e), Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 1931; Pub. L. 113–255, §2(c), Dec. 18, 2014, 128 Stat. 2920.)

References in Text

Section 311 of the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986 [Pub. L. 99–335], referred to in subsecs. (c) and (e)(1), is set out as a note below.

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 113–255 substituted "under section 8438(c)(2)(B)" for "required by section 8438 of this title to be invested in securities of the Government".

1986—Subsecs. (i), (j). Pub. L. 99–509 added subsecs. (i) and (j).

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–509 effective Jan. 1, 1987, see section 6001(f) of Pub. L. 99–509, set out as a note under section 8432 of this title.

Initial Appointments to Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

Pub. L. 99–335, title III, §311, June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 608, provided that:

"(a) Initial Appointment of Members.—Section 8472(c) of title 5, United States Code (as added by section 101(a) of this Act) shall not apply to the members of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board first appointed to such Board.

"(b) Terms of Service.—Notwithstanding subsection (e)(1) of section 8472 of title 5, United States Code (as added by section 101(a) of this Act), the term of service of each member of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board appointed pursuant to subsection (a) shall be 1 year, except that such member shall continue to serve until his successor is appointed under subsection (b) of such section 8472 and confirmed under subsection (c) of such section."

Authorization of Appropriations for Certain Expenses of Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Management System

Pub. L. 99–335, title VII, §701, June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 631, as amended by Pub. L. 99–500, §101(m) [title IV, §401], Oct. 18, 1986, 100 Stat. 1783–308, 1783-322, and Pub. L. 99–591, §101(m) [title IV, §401], Oct. 30, 1986, 100 Stat. 3341–308, 3341-322, provided for authorization of appropriations for expenses incurred in the administration of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Management System under this subchapter during fiscal years 1986 and 1987.

§8473. Employee Thrift Advisory Council

(a) The Board shall establish an Employee Thrift Advisory Council. The Council shall be composed of 15 members appointed by the Chairman of the Board in accordance with subsection (b).

(b) The Chairman shall appoint 15 members of the Council, of whom—

(1) 4 shall be appointed to represent the respective labor organizations representing (as exclusive representatives) the first, second, third, and fourth largest numbers of individuals subject to chapter 71 of this title;

(2) 2 shall be appointed to represent the respective labor organizations which have been accorded exclusive recognition under section 1203(a) of title 39 representing the largest and second largest numbers of individuals employed by the United States Postal Service;

(3) 1 shall be appointed to represent the labor organization which has been accorded exclusive recognition under section 1203(a) of title 39 representing the largest number of individuals employed by the United States Postal Service as rural letter carriers;

(4) 2 shall be appointed to represent the respective managerial organizations (other than an organization described in paragraph (5)) which consult with the United States Postal Service under section 1004(b) of title 39 and which represent the largest and second largest numbers of individuals employed by the United States Postal Service as managerial personnel;

(5) 1 shall be appointed to represent the supervisors' organization as defined in section 1004(h) of title 39;

(6) 1 shall be appointed to represent employee organizations having as a purpose promoting the interests of women in Government service;

(7) 1 shall be appointed to represent the organization representing the largest number of individuals receiving annuities under this chapter or chapter 83 of this title;

(8) 1 shall be appointed to represent the organization representing the largest number of supervisors and management officials (as defined by section 7103(a));

(9) 1 shall be appointed to represent the organization representing the largest number of members of the Senior Executive Service; and

(10) 1 shall be appointed to represent participants (under section 8440e) who are members of the uniformed services.


(c)(1) The Chairman of the Board shall designate 1 member of the Council to serve as head of the Council.

(2) A member of the Council shall be appointed for a term of 4 years.

(3)(A) A vacancy in the Council shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made and shall be subject to any conditions which applied with respect to the original appointment.

(B) An individual chosen to fill a vacancy shall be appointed for the unexpired term of the member replaced.

(C) The term of any member shall not expire before the date on which the member's successor takes office.

(d) The Council shall act by resolution of a majority of the members.

(e) The Council shall—

(1) advise the Board and the Executive Director on matters relating to—

(A) investment policies for the Thrift Savings Fund; and

(B) the administration of this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter; and


(2) perform such other duties as the Board may direct with respect to investment funds established in accordance with subchapter III of this chapter.


(f) Section 14(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act shall not apply to the Council.

(Added Pub. L. 99–335, title I, §101(a), June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 579; amended Pub. L. 103–89, §3(b)(1)(N), Sept. 30, 1993, 107 Stat. 982; Pub. L. 106–65, div. A, title VI, §661(a)(6), Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 672.)

References in Text

Section 14(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act [Pub. L. 92–463], referred to in subsec. (f), is section 14(a)(2) of Pub. L. 92–463, which is set out in the Appendix to this title.

Amendments

1999—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 106–65, §661(a)(6)(A), substituted "15 members" for "14 members".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 106–65, §661(a)(6)(B)(i), substituted "15 members" for "14 members" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (b)(10). Pub. L. 106–65, §661(a)(6)(B)(ii)–(iv), added par. (10).

1993—Subsec. (b)(8). Pub. L. 103–89 substituted "supervisors and management officials (as defined by section 7103(a))" for "individuals subject to the Performance Management and Recognition System under chapter 54 of this title".

Effective Date of 1999 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–65 effective 180 days after Oct. 30, 2000, unless postponed, see section 663 of Pub. L. 106–65, as amended, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8440e of this title.

Effective Date of 1993 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–89 effective Nov. 1, 1993, see section 3(c) of Pub. L. 103–89, set out as a note under section 3372 of this title.

§8474. Executive Director

(a)(1) The Board shall appoint, without regard to the provisions of law governing appointments in the competitive service, an Executive Director by action agreed to by a majority of the members of the Board.

(2) The Executive Director shall have substantial experience, training, and expertise in the management of financial investments and pension benefit plans.

(b) The Executive Director shall—

(1) carry out the policies established by the Board;

(2) invest and manage the Thrift Savings Fund in accordance with the investment policies and other policies established by the Board;

(3) purchase annuity contracts and provide for the payment of other benefits under subchapter III of this chapter;

(4) administer the provisions of this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter;

(5) prescribe such regulations (other than regulations relating to fiduciary responsibilities) as may be necessary for the administration of this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter; and

(6) meet from time to time with the Council upon request of the Council.


(c) The Executive Director may—

(1) prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the Executive Director under this section, other than regulations relating to fiduciary responsibilities;

(2) appoint such personnel as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter;

(3) subject to approval by the Board, procure the services of experts and consultants under section 3109 of this title;

(4) secure directly from an Executive agency, the United States Postal Service, or the Postal Regulatory Commission any information necessary to carry out the provisions of this subchapter or subchapter III of this chapter and policies of the Board;

(5) make such payments out of sums in the Thrift Savings Fund as the Executive Director determines are necessary to carry out the provisions of this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter and the policies of the Board;

(6) pay the compensation, per diem, and travel expenses of individuals appointed under paragraphs (2), (3), and (7) of this subsection from the Thrift Savings Fund;

(7) accept and use the services of individuals employed intermittently in the Government service and reimburse such individuals for travel expenses, as authorized by section 5703 of this title, including per diem as authorized by section 5702 of this title;

(8) except as otherwise expressly prohibited by law or the policies of the Board, delegate any of the Executive Director's functions to such employees under the Board as the Executive Director may designate and authorize such successive redelegations of such functions to such employees under the Board as the Executive Director may consider to be necessary or appropriate; and

(9) take such other actions as are appropriate to carry out the functions of the Executive Director.

(Added Pub. L. 99–335, title I, §101(a), June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 580; amended Pub. L. 109–435, title VI, §604(b), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3241.)

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 109–435 substituted "Postal Regulatory Commission" for "Postal Rate Commission".

§8475. Investment policies

The Board shall develop investment policies under section 8472(f)(1) of this title which provide for—

(1) prudent investments suitable for accumulating funds for payment of retirement income; and

(2) low administrative costs.

(Added Pub. L. 99–335, title I, §101(a), June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 581.)

§8476. Administrative provisions

(a) The Board shall meet—

(1) not less than once during each month; and

(2) at additional times at the call of the Chairman.


(b)(1) Except as provided in sections 8472(g)(1)(C) and 8474(a)(1) of this title, the Board shall perform the functions and exercise the powers of the Board on a majority vote of a quorum of the Board.

(2) A vacancy on the Board shall not impair the authority of a quorum of the Board to perform the functions and exercise the powers of the Board.

(c) Three members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

(d)(1) Each member of the Board who is not an officer or employee of the Federal Government shall be compensated at the daily rate of basic pay for level IV of the Executive Schedule for each day during which such member is engaged in performing a function of the Board.

(2) A member of the Board shall be paid travel, per diem, and other necessary expenses under subchapter I of chapter 57 of this title while traveling away from such member's home or regular place of business in the performance of the duties of the Board.

(3) Payments authorized under this subsection shall be paid from the Thrift Savings Fund.

(e) The accrued annual leave of any employee who is a member of the Board or the Council shall not be charged for any time used in performing services for the Board or the Council.

(Added Pub. L. 99–335, title I, §101(a), June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 581; amended Pub. L. 101–509, title V, §529 [title I, §101(b)(9)(K)], Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1427, 1442.)

References in Text

Level IV of the Executive Schedule, referred to in subsec. (d)(1), is set out in section 5315 of this title.

Amendments

1990—Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 101–509 substituted "level IV of the Executive Schedule" for "grade GS–18 of the General Schedule".

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–509 effective on such date as the President shall determine, but not earlier than 90 days, and not later than 180 days, after Nov. 5, 1990, see section 529 [title III, §305] of Pub. L. 101–509, set out as a note under section 5301 of this title.

§8477. Fiduciary responsibilities; liability and penalties

(a) For the purposes of this section—

(1) the term "account" is not limited by the definition provided in section 8401(1);

(2) the term "adequate consideration" means—

(A) in the case of a security for which there is a generally recognized market—

(i) the price of the security prevailing on a national securities exchange which is registered under section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; or

(ii) if the security is not traded on such a national securities exchange, a price not less favorable to the Thrift Savings Fund than the offering price for the security as established by the current bid and asked prices quoted by persons independent of the issuer and of any party in interest; and


(B) in the case of an asset other than a security for which there is a generally recognized market, the fair market value of the asset as determined in good faith by a fiduciary or fiduciaries in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Labor;


(3) the term "fiduciary" means—

(A) a member of the Board;

(B) the Executive Director;

(C) any person who has or exercises discretionary authority or discretionary control over the management or disposition of the assets of the Thrift Savings Fund; and

(D) any person who, with respect to the Thrift Savings Fund, is described in section 3(21)(A) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1002(21)(A)); and


(4) the term "party in interest" includes—

(A) any fiduciary;

(B) any counsel to a person who is a fiduciary, with respect to the actions of such person as a fiduciary;

(C) any participant;

(D) any person providing services to the Board and, with respect to the actions of the Executive Director as a fiduciary any person providing services to the Executive Director;

(E) a labor organization, the members of which are participants;

(F) a spouse, sibling, ancestor, lineal descendant, or spouse of a lineal descendant of a person described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (D);

(G) a corporation, partnership, or trust or estate of which, or in which, at least 50 percent of—

(i) the combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote or the total value of shares of all classes of stock of such corporation;

(ii) the capital interest or profits interest of such partnership; or

(iii) the beneficial interest of such trust or estate,


is owned directly or indirectly, or held by a person described in subparagraph (A), (B), (D), or (E);

(H) an official (including a director) of, or an individual employed by, a person described in subparagraph (A), (B), (D), (E), or (G), or an individual having powers or responsibilities similar to those of such an official;

(I) a holder (directly or indirectly) of at least 10 percent of the shares in a person described in any subparagraph referred to in subparagraph (H); and

(J) a person who, directly or indirectly, is at least a 10 percent partner or joint venturer (measured in capital or profits) in a person described in any subparagraph referred to in subparagraph (H).


(b)(1) To the extent not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter and the policies prescribed by the Board, a fiduciary shall discharge his responsibilities with respect to the Thrift Savings Fund or applicable portion thereof solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries and—

(A) for the exclusive purpose of—

(i) providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries; and

(ii) defraying reasonable expenses of administering the Thrift Savings Fund or applicable portions thereof;


(B) with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent individual acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like objectives; and

(C) to the extent permitted by section 8438 of this title, by diversifying the investments of the Thrift Savings Fund or applicable portions thereof so as to minimize the risk of large losses, unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so.


(2) No fiduciary may maintain the indicia of ownership of any assets of the Thrift Savings Fund outside the jurisdiction of the district courts of the United States.

(c)(1) A fiduciary shall not permit the Thrift Savings Fund to engage in any of the following transactions, except in exchange for adequate consideration:

(A) A transfer of any assets of the Thrift Savings Fund to any person the fiduciary knows or should know to be a party in interest or the use of such assets by any such person.

(B) An acquisition of any property from or sale of any property to the Thrift Savings Fund by any person the fiduciary knows or should know to be a party in interest.

(C) A transfer or exchange of services between the Thrift Savings Fund and any person the fiduciary knows or should know to be a party in interest.


(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a fiduciary with respect to the Thrift Savings Fund shall not—

(A) deal with any assets of the Thrift Savings Fund in his own interest or for his own account;

(B) act, in an individual capacity or any other capacity, in any transaction involving the Thrift Savings Fund on behalf of a party, or representing a party, whose interests are adverse to the interests of the Thrift Savings Fund or the interests of its participants or beneficiaries; or

(C) receive any consideration for his own personal account from any party dealing with sums credited to the Thrift Savings Fund in connection with a transaction involving assets of the Thrift Savings Fund.


(3)(A) The Secretary of Labor may, in accordance with procedures which the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe, grant a conditional or unconditional exemption of any fiduciary or transaction, or class of fiduciaries or transactions, from all or part of the restrictions imposed by paragraph (2).

(B) An exemption granted under this paragraph shall not relieve a fiduciary from any other applicable provision of this chapter.

(C) The Secretary of Labor may not grant an exemption under this paragraph unless he finds that such exemption is—

(i) administratively feasible;

(ii) in the interests of the Thrift Savings Fund and of its participants and beneficiaries; and

(iii) protective of the rights of participants and beneficiaries of such Fund.


(D) An exemption under this paragraph may not be granted unless—

(i) notice of the proposed exemption is published in the Federal Register;

(ii) interested persons are given an opportunity to present views; and

(iii) the Secretary of Labor affords an opportunity for a hearing and makes a determination on the record with respect to the respective requirements of clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) of subparagraph (C).


(E) Notwithstanding subparagraph (D), the Secretary of Labor may determine that an exemption granted for any class of fiduciaries or transactions under section 408(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 shall, upon publication of notice in the Federal Register under this subparagraph, constitute an exemption for purposes of the provisions of paragraph (2).

(d) This section does not prohibit any fiduciary from—

(1) receiving any benefit which the fiduciary is entitled to receive under this subchapter or subchapter III of this chapter as a participant or beneficiary;

(2) receiving any reasonable compensation authorized by this subchapter for services rendered, or for reimbursement of expenses properly and actually incurred, in the performance of the fiduciary's duties under this chapter; or

(3) serving as a fiduciary in addition to being an officer, employee, agent, or other representative of a party in interest.


(e)(1)(A) Any fiduciary that breaches the responsibilities, duties, and obligations set out in subsection (b) or violates subsection (c) shall be personally liable to the Thrift Savings Fund for any losses to such Fund resulting from each such breach or violation and to restore to such Fund any profits made by the fiduciary through use of assets of such Fund by the fiduciary, and shall be subject to such other equitable or remedial relief as a court considers appropriate, except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection. A fiduciary may be removed for a breach referred to in the preceding sentence.

(B) The Secretary of Labor may assess a civil penalty against a party in interest with respect to each transaction which is engaged in by the party in interest and is prohibited by subsection (c). The amount of such penalty shall be equal to 5 percent of the amount involved in each such transaction (as defined in section 4975(f)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) for each year or part thereof during which the prohibited transaction continues, except that, if the transaction is not corrected (in such manner as the Secretary of Labor shall prescribe by regulation consistent with section 4975(f)(5) of such Code) within 90 days after the date the Secretary of Labor transmits notice to the party in interest (or such longer period as the Secretary of Labor may permit), such penalty may be in an amount not more than 100 percent of the amount involved.

(C)(i) A fiduciary shall not be liable under subparagraph (A) with respect to a breach of fiduciary duty under subsection (b) committed before becoming a fiduciary or after ceasing to be a fiduciary.

(ii) A fiduciary shall not be liable under subparagraph (A), and no civil action may be brought against a fiduciary—

(I) for providing for the automatic enrollment of a participant in accordance with section 8432(b)(2)(A);

(II) for enrolling a participant or beneficiary in a default investment fund or option in accordance with section 8438(c)(2); or

(III) for allowing a participant or beneficiary to invest through the mutual fund window or for establishing restrictions applicable to participants' or beneficiaries' ability to invest through the mutual fund window.


(D) A fiduciary shall be jointly and severally liable under subparagraph (A) for a breach of fiduciary duty under subsection (b) by another fiduciary only if—

(i) the fiduciary participates knowingly in, or knowingly undertakes to conceal, an act or omission of such other fiduciary, knowing such act or omission is such a breach;

(ii) by the fiduciary's failure to comply with subsection (b) in the administration of the fiduciary's specific responsibilities which give rise to the fiduciary status, the fiduciary has enabled such other fiduciary to commit such a breach; or

(iii) the fiduciary has knowledge of a breach by such other fiduciary, unless the fiduciary makes reasonable efforts under the circumstances to remedy the breach.


(E) The Secretary of Labor shall prescribe, in regulations, procedures for allocating fiduciary responsibilities among fiduciaries, including investment managers. Any fiduciary who, pursuant to such procedures, allocates to a person or persons any fiduciary responsibility shall not be liable for an act or omission of such person or persons unless—

(i) such fiduciary violated subsection (b) with respect to the allocation, with respect to the implementation of the procedures prescribed by the Secretary of Labor (or the Board under section 114 of the Federal Employees' Retirement System Technical Corrections Act of 1986), or in continuing such allocation; or

(ii) such fiduciary would otherwise be liable in accordance with subparagraph (D).


(2) No civil action may be maintained against any fiduciary with respect to the responsibilities, liabilities, and penalties authorized or provided for in this section except in accordance with paragraphs (3) and (4).

(3) A civil action may be brought in the district courts of the United States—

(A) by the Secretary of Labor against any fiduciary other than a Member of the Board or the Executive Director of the Board—

(i) to determine and enforce a liability under paragraph (1)(A);

(ii) to collect any civil penalty under paragraph (1)(B);

(iii) to enjoin any act or practice which violates any provision of subsection (b) or (c);

(iv) to obtain any other appropriate equitable relief to redress a violation of any such provision; or

(v) to enjoin any act or practice which violates subsection (g)(2) or (h) of section 8472 of this title;


(B) by any participant, beneficiary, or fiduciary against any fiduciary—

(i) to enjoin any act or practice which violates any provision of subsection (b) or (c);

(ii) to obtain any other appropriate equitable relief to redress a violation of any such provision;

(iii) to enjoin any act or practice which violates subsection (g)(2) or (h) of section 8472 of this title; or


(C) by any participant or beneficiary—

(i) to recover benefits of such participant or beneficiary under the provisions of subchapter III of this chapter, to enforce any right of such participant or beneficiary under such provisions, or to clarify any such right to future benefits under such provisions; or

(ii) to enforce any claim otherwise cognizable under sections 1346(b) and 2671 through 2680 of title 28, provided that the remedy against the United States provided by sections 1346(b) and 2672 of title 28 for damages for injury or loss of property caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any fiduciary while acting within the scope of his duties or employment shall be exclusive of any other civil action or proceeding by the participant or beneficiary for recovery of money by reason of the same subject matter against the fiduciary (or the estate of such fiduciary) whose act or omission gave rise to such action or proceeding, whether or not such action or proceeding is based on an alleged violation of subsection (b) or (c).


(4)(A) In all civil actions under paragraph (3)(A), attorneys appointed by the Secretary may represent the Secretary (except as provided in section 518(a) of title 28), however all such litigation shall be subject to the direction and control of the Attorney General.

(B) The Attorney General shall defend any civil action or proceeding brought in any court against any fiduciary referred to in paragraph (3)(C)(ii) (or the estate of such fiduciary) for any such injury. Any fiduciary against whom such a civil action or proceeding is brought shall deliver, within such time after date of service or knowledge of service as determined by the Attorney General, all process served upon such fiduciary (or an attested copy thereof) to the Executive Director of the Board, who shall promptly furnish copies of the pleading and process to the Attorney General and the United States Attorney for the district wherein the action or proceeding is brought.

(C) Upon certification by the Attorney General that a fiduciary described in paragraph (3)(C)(ii) was acting in the scope of such fiduciary's duties or employment as a fiduciary at the time of the occurrence or omission out of which the action arose, any such civil action or proceeding commenced in a State court shall be—

(i) removed without bond at any time before trial by the Attorney General to the district court of the United States for the district and division in which it is pending; and

(ii) deemed a tort action brought against the United States under the provisions of title 28 and all references thereto.


(D) The Attorney General may compromise or settle any claim asserted in such civil action or proceeding in the manner provided in section 2677 of title 28, and with the same effect. To the extent section 2672 of title 28 provides that persons other than the Attorney General or his designee may compromise and settle claims, and that payment of such claims may be made from agency appropriations, such provisions shall not apply to claims based upon an alleged violation of subsection (b) or (c).

(E) For the purposes of paragraph (3)(C)(ii) the provisions of sections 2680(h) of title 28 shall not apply to any claim based upon an alleged violation of subsection (b) or (c).

(F) Notwithstanding sections 1346(b) and 2671 through 2680 of title 28, whenever an award, compromise, or settlement is made under such sections upon any claim based upon an alleged violation of subsection (b) or (c), payment of such award, compromise, or settlement shall be made to the appropriate account within the Thrift Savings Fund, or where there is no such appropriate account, to the participant or beneficiary bringing the claim.

(G) For purposes of paragraph (3)(C)(ii), fiduciary includes only the Members of the Board and the Board's Executive Director.

(5) Any relief awarded against a Member of the Board or the Executive Director of the Board in a civil action authorized by paragraph (3) may not include any monetary damages or any other recovery of money.

(6) An action may not be commenced under paragraph (3)(A) or (B) with respect to a fiduciary's breach of any responsibility, duty, or obligation under subsection (b) or a violation of subsection (c) after the earlier of—

(A) 6 years after (i) the date of the last action which constituted a part of the breach or violation, or (ii) in the case of an omission, the latest date on which the fiduciary could have cured the breach or violation; or

(B) 3 years after the earliest date on which the plaintiff had actual knowledge of the breach or violation, except that, in the case of fraud or concealment, such action may be commenced not later than 6 years after the date of discovery of such breach or violation.


(7)(A) The district courts of the United States shall have exclusive jurisdiction of civil actions under this subsection.

(B) An action under this subsection may be brought in the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia or a district court of the United States in the district where the breach alleged in the complaint or petition filed in the action took place or in the district where a defendant resides or may be found. Process may be served in any other district where a defendant resides or may be found.

(8)(A) A copy of the complaint or petition filed in any action brought under this subsection (other than by the Secretary of Labor) shall be served on the Executive Director, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of the Treasury by certified mail.

(B) Any officer referred to in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall have the right in his discretion to intervene in any action. If the Secretary of Labor brings an action under paragraph (2) of this subsection on behalf of a participant or beneficiary, he shall notify the Executive Director and the Secretary of the Treasury.

(f) The Secretary of Labor may prescribe regulations to carry out this section.

(g)(1) The Secretary of Labor shall establish a program to carry out audits to determine the level of compliance with the requirements of this section relating to fiduciary responsibilities and prohibited activities of fiduciaries.

(2) An audit under this subsection may be conducted by the Secretary of Labor, by contract with a qualified non-governmental organization, or in cooperation with the Comptroller General of the United States, as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(Added Pub. L. 99–335, title I, §101(a), June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 582; amended Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095; Pub. L. 99–556, title I, §§112, 114(b), Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3133; Pub. L. 100–238, title I, §133(a), (c), Jan. 8, 1988, 101 Stat. 1760, 1762; Pub. L. 100–366, §3(a), July 13, 1988, 102 Stat. 826; Pub. L. 101–335, §8, July 17, 1990, 104 Stat. 325; Pub. L. 111–31, div. B, title I, §106(b), June 22, 2009, 123 Stat. 1855; Pub. L. 113–255, §3, Dec. 18, 2014, 128 Stat. 2921.)

References in Text

Section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(A)(i), is classified to section 78f of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

Section 408(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, referred to in subsec. (c)(3)(E), is classified to section 1108(a) of Title 29, Labor.

Section 4975(f)(4) and (5) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (e)(1)(B), is classified to section 4975(f)(4) and (5) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Section 114 of the Federal Employees' Retirement System Technical Corrections Act of 1986, referred to in subsec. (e)(1)(E)(i), is section 114 of Pub. L. 99–556 which amended this section and enacted provisions set out as a note under this section.

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (e)(1)(C)(ii)(II). Pub. L. 113–255, §3(1), inserted "or beneficiary" after "participant" and "or option" after "fund".

Subsec. (e)(1)(C)(ii)(III). Pub. L. 113–255, §3(2), inserted "or beneficiary" after "participant" and "or beneficiaries' " after "participants' ".

2009—Subsec. (e)(1)(C). Pub. L. 111–31 designated existing provisions as cl. (i) and added cl. (ii).

1990Pub. L. 101–335 repealed section 133(c) of Pub. L. 100–238. See Effective Date of 1988 Amendment note below.

1988—Subsec. (e)(1)(A). Pub. L. 100–238, §133(a)(1), inserted ", except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection".

Subsec. (e)(1)(B). Pub. L. 100–238, §133(a)(2), substituted "Internal Revenue Code of 1986" for "Internal Revenue Code of 1954".

Subsec. (e)(1)(D). Pub. L. 100–238, §133(a)(3), inserted "only" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (e)(2), (3). Pub. L. 100–238, §133(a)(5), added pars. (2) and (3) and struck out former pars. (2) and (3) which read as follows:

"(2) A civil action may be brought in the district courts of the United States—

"(A) by the Secretary of Labor—

"(i) to determine and enforce a liability under paragraph (1)(A);

"(ii) to collect any civil penalty under paragraph (1)(B); or

"(iii) to enjoin any act or practice which violates subsection (g)(2) or (h) of section 8472 of this title;

"(B) by the Secretary of Labor, any participant, beneficiary, or fiduciary—

"(i) to enjoin any act or practice which violates any provision of subsection (b) or (c); or

"(ii) to obtain any other appropriate equitable relief to redress a violation of any such provision; or

"(C) by any participant or beneficiary to recover benefits due to him or her under the provisions of subchapter III of this chapter, to enforce his or her rights under such provisions, or to clarify his or her rights to future benefits under such provisions.

"(3) An action may not be commenced under paragraph (2) with respect to a fiduciary's breach of any responsibility, duty, or obligation under subsection (b) or a violation of subsection (c) after the earlier of—

"(A) 6 years after (i) the date of the last action which constituted a part of the breach or violation, or (ii) in the case of an omission, the latest date on which the fiduciary could have cured the breach or violation; or

"(B) 3 years after the earliest date on which the plaintiff had actual knowledge of the breach or violation, except that, in the case of fraud or concealment, such action may be commenced not later than 6 years after the date of discovery of such breach or violation."

Subsec. (e)(3)(C)(ii). Pub. L. 100–366, §3(a)(1), substituted "28, provided that" for "28, if" and "shall be exclusive of" for "is exclusive of".

Subsec. (e)(4) to (8). Pub. L. 100–238, §133(a)(4), (5), added pars. (4) to (6) and redesignated former pars. (4) and (5) as (7) and (8), respectively.

Subsec. (e)(5). Pub. L. 100–366, §3(a)(2), substituted "paragraph (3)" for "paragraphs (3) and (4)".

1986—Subsec. (c)(3)(E). Pub. L. 99–556, §112, added subpar. (E).

Subsec. (e)(1)(B). Pub. L. 99–514 substituted "Internal Revenue Code of 1986" for "Internal Revenue Code of 1954".

Subsec. (e)(1)(E)(i). Pub. L. 99–556, §114(b), substituted "Secretary of Labor (or the Board under section 114 of the Federal Employees' Retirement System Technical Corrections Act of 1986)" for "Board".

Effective Date of 1988 Amendments

Pub. L. 100–366, §3(b), July 13, 1988, 102 Stat. 826, provided that: "Section 8477(e) of title 5, United States Code, as amended by subsection (a), shall apply to any civil action or proceeding arising from any act or omission occurring on or after October 1, 1986."

Pub. L. 100–238, title I, §133(b), Jan. 8, 1988, 101 Stat. 1762, provided that: "The provisions of section 8477(e)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), and (6) of title 5, United States Code (as amended by subsection (a) of this section), shall apply to any civil action or proceeding arising from any act or omission occurring on or after October 1, 1986."

Pub. L. 100–238, title I, §133(c), Jan. 8, 1988, 101 Stat. 1762, which provided that the provisions of subsection (a) (and the amendments to section 8477(e) of title 5 contained therein) and subsection (b) of this section were to be repealed effective on Dec. 31, 1990, and that on and after Dec. 31, 1990, the provisions of section 8477(e) of title 5 were to be in effect as such provisions were in effect on Jan. 7, 1988, was repealed by Pub. L. 101–335, §8, July 17, 1990, 104 Stat. 325.

Interim Exemption Procedures

Pub. L. 99–556, title I, §111, Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3133, provided that:

"(a) In General.—Subject to subsection (b), until such time as final regulations under subparagraph (A) of section 8477(c)(3) of title 5, United States Code, become effective, the Secretary of Labor may, in accordance with procedures under section 408(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 [29 U.S.C. 1108(a)], grant any exemption allowable under such section 8477(c)(3).

"(b) Termination of Interim Authority.—The authority to grant an exemption under section 8477(c)(3) of title 5, United States Code, using the procedures under section 408(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 shall expire not later than December 31, 1988."

Allocation of Fiduciary Responsibilities

Pub. L. 99–556, title I, §114(a), Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3133, provided that:

"(1) Subject to paragraph (2), until such time as final regulations under subparagraph (E) of section 8477(e)(1) of title 5, United States Code, become effective, a fiduciary (as defined by section 8477(a)(3) of title 5, United States Code) may, in accordance with procedures established by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, make any allocation of fiduciary responsibilities.

"(2) The authority to make any allocation under section 8477(e)(1)(E) using the procedures referred to in paragraph (1), and any allocation so made using such procedures, shall expire not later than December 31, 1988."

§8478. Bonding

(a)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), each fiduciary and each person who handles funds or property of the Thrift Savings Fund shall be bonded as provided in this section.

(2)(A) Bond shall not be required of a fiduciary (or of any officer or employee of such fiduciary) if such fiduciary—

(i) is a corporation organized and doing business under the laws of the United States or of any State;

(ii) is authorized under such laws to exercise trust powers or to conduct an insurance business;

(iii) is subject to supervision or examination by Federal or State authority; and

(iv) has at all times a combined capital and surplus in excess of such minimum amount (not less than $1,000,000) as the Secretary of Labor prescribes in regulations.


(B) If—

(i) a bank or other financial institution would, but for this subparagraph, not be required to be bonded under this section by reason of the application of the exception provided in subparagraph (A),

(ii) the bank or financial institution is authorized to exercise trust powers, and

(iii) the deposits of the bank or financial institution are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,


such exception shall apply to such bank or financial institution only if the bank or institution meets bonding requirements under State law which the Secretary of Labor determines are at least equivalent to those imposed on banks by Federal law.

(b)(1) The Secretary of Labor shall prescribe the amount of a bond under this section at the beginning of each fiscal year. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, such amount shall not be less than 10 percent of the amount of funds handled. In no case shall such bond be less than $1,000 nor more than $500,000, except that the Secretary of Labor, after due notice and opportunity for hearing to all interested parties, and other consideration of the record, may prescribe an amount in excess of $500,000.

(2) For the purpose of prescribing the amount of a bond under paragraph (1), the amount of funds handled shall be determined by reference to the amount of the funds handled by the person, group, or class to be covered by such bond or by their predecessor or predecessors, if any, during the preceding fiscal year, or to the amount of funds to be handled during the current fiscal year by such person, group, or class, estimated as provided in regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Labor.

(c) A bond required by subsection (a)—

(1) shall include such terms and conditions as the Secretary of Labor considers necessary to protect the Thrift Savings Fund against loss by reason of acts of fraud or dishonesty on the part of the bonded person directly or through connivance with others;

(2) shall have as surety thereon a corporate surety company which is an acceptable surety on Federal bonds under authority granted by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to sections 9304 through 9308 of title 31; and

(3) shall be in a form or of a type approved by the Secretary of Labor, including individual bonds or schedule or blanket forms of bonds which cover a group or class.


(d)(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to whom subsection (a) applies, to receive, handle, disburse, or otherwise exercise custody or control of any of the funds or other property of the Thrift Savings Fund without being bonded as required by this section.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any fiduciary, or any other person having authority to direct the performance of functions described in paragraph (1), to permit any such function to be performed by any person to whom subsection (a) applies unless such person has met the requirements of such subsection.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who is required to be bonded as provided in subsection (a) shall be exempt from any other provision of law which would, but for this subsection, require such person to be bonded for the handling of the funds or other property of the Thrift Savings Fund.

(f) The Secretary of Labor shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section, including exempting a person or class of persons from the requirements of this section.

(Added Pub. L. 99–335, title I, §101(a), June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 586; amended Pub. L. 99–556, title I, §§108, 115, Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3132, 3134; Pub. L. 102–378, §2(72), Oct. 2, 1992, 106 Stat. 1355.)

Amendments

1992—Subsec. (a)(2)(B)(iii). Pub. L. 102–378 struck out "Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance" before "Corporation".

1986—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 99–556, §108, struck out "(other than a member of the Employee Thrift Advisory Council with respect to his duties as a member)" after "each fiduciary".

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 99–556, §115, substituted "sections 9304 through 9308 of title 31" for "sections 6 through 13 of title 6".

Interim Bonding Regulations

Pub. L. 99–556, title I, §113, Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3133, provided that:

"(a) In General.—Subject to subsection (b), until such time as the Secretary of Labor promulgates final regulations under section 8478 of title 5, United States Code, the Secretary of Labor may, with respect to the Thrift Savings Fund, apply the temporary regulations under section 412 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 [29 U.S.C. 1112] that are set forth in section 2550.412–1, and subchapter I of chapter XXV, of title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on September 23, 1986.

"(b) Termination of Interim Authority.—The authority to apply the temporary regulations referred to in subsection (a) with respect to the Thrift Savings Fund shall expire not later than December 31, 1989."

§8478a. Investigative authority

Any authority available to the Secretary of Labor under section 504 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 is hereby made available to the Secretary of Labor, and any officer designated by the Secretary of Labor, to determine whether any person has violated, or is about to violate, any provision of section 8477 or 8478.

(Added Pub. L. 99–556, title I, §110(a), Oct. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3132.)

References in Text

Section 504 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, referred to in text, is classified to section 1134 of Title 29, Labor.

§8479. Exculpatory provisions; insurance

(a) Any provision in an agreement or instrument which purports to relieve a fiduciary from responsibility or liability for any responsibility, obligation, or duty under this subchapter shall be void.

(b)(1) The Executive Director may require employing agencies to contribute an amount not to exceed 1 percent of the amount such agencies are required to contribute in accordance with section 8432(c) of this title to the Thrift Savings Fund.

(2) The sums credited to the Thrift Savings Fund under paragraph (1) shall be available and may be used at the discretion of the Executive Director to purchase insurance to cover potential liability of persons who serve in a fiduciary capacity with respect to the Thrift Savings Fund, without regard to whether a policy of insurance permits recourse by the insurer against the fiduciary in the case of a breach of a fiduciary obligation.

(Added Pub. L. 99–335, title I, §101(a), June 6, 1986, 100 Stat. 588.)

§8480. Subpoena authority

(a) In order to carry out the responsibilities specified in this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter, the Executive Director may issue subpoenas commanding each person to whom the subpoena is directed to produce designated books, documents, records, electronically stored information, or tangible materials in the possession or control of that individual.

(b) Notwithstanding any Federal, State, or local law, any person, including officers, agents, and employees, receiving a subpoena under this section, who complies in good faith with the subpoena and thus produces the materials sought, shall not be liable in any court of any State or the United States to any individual, domestic or foreign corporation or upon a partnership or other unincorporated association for such production.

(c) When a person fails to obey a subpoena issued under this section, the district court of the United States for the district in which the investigation is conducted or in which the person failing to obey is found, shall on proper application issue an order directing that person to comply with the subpoena. The court may punish as contempt any disobedience of its order.

(d) The Executive Director shall prescribe regulations to carry out subsection (a).

(Added Pub. L. 111–31, div. B, title I, §107(a), June 22, 2009, 123 Stat. 1856.)