Report: TSP's Amelio Steps Down for Union Job

January 24, 2007 ( - Gary Amelio has reportedly stepped down from his position as executive director of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board to take a new job with a Washington, D.C.-based provider of financial services to union members.

According to a report on the Federal Times Web site, Amelio made the announcement Tuesday at a closed-door board meeting. Although the report said staff members have been informed of the move, the agency has not released an official announcement.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board acknowledged that Gary A. Amelio, Executive Director of the Thrift Savings Plan for Federal employees, had resigned from the position he has held for 3½ years to accept a post as President of the Retirement Services business unit of ULLICO, Inc. In accepting Amelio’s resignation, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Chairman Andrew M. Saul expressed the Board’s gratitude for his successful work during his tenure at the TSP, and well wishes for success in his future endeavors. “When I became Chairman four years ago, it was clear that the TSP was on the cusp of many of the most significant changes in its history,” Saul stated. “The Board members and I knew that Gary’s private sector retirement services experience was just the right recipe for leading the already successful TSP to the next level. We were not disappointed.”

The press release noted that Amelio arrived at the Board in June 2003 (see TSP Taps Amelio as New Chief ), “just as a long-delayed state of the art daily-valued record keeping system was being deployed. He took charge in the midst of six weeks of transitional difficulties, and never looked back.”

Amelio was named PLANSPONSOR’s Plan Sponsor of the Year in 2004 for his contributions at the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan (see Taking the Bull by the Horns: Plan Sponsor of the Year ).

A Period of Growth

As executive director of the thrift board, Amelio has overseen a period of substantial growth in TSP. The plan has added several new investment options during Amelio’s tenure, including a series of popular lifecycle funds (See TSP Lifecycle Funds a Big Hit ), now used by nearly a half million TSP plan participants, according to the release. Assets in the plan have more than doubled in the past four years and now exceed $206 billion (See Cover: Taking the Bull by the Horns: Plan Sponsor of the Year ). As of December 31, 2006, TSP assets totaled approximately $206 billion, and retirement savings accounts have been established for more than 3.7 million participants. The program has been repeatedly held up by lawmakers as an example of cost-effective retirement savings options, as well as a model for how Social Security private accounts might be structured.

In late 2006, the TSP board considered requests of plan changes for Congress to approve that mimic provisions of the recently passed Pension Protection Act (PPA), including automatic enrollment (See TSP Considers Switch to Auto Enrollment ).

The executive search firm of Heidrick & Struggles has been retained to conduct a search for Amelio’s successor. A vacancy announcement will be posted on the Board’s business Web site ( ) and on the site maintained by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management ( ).