The ATF Association (ATFA) was established in 2007. Its purpose is to bring together former and current ATF colleagues for fellowship and friendship, assist with post-ATF career planning and development, and to provide support in a time of need. In honor of the many ATF employees that have died or sustained serious injuries in fulfilling the ATF mission, the Association is committed to the support of members of the ATF Family who have experienced severe trauma or financial need and to keep the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice forever in our consciousness.
Members of the Association include Special Agents, Industry Operations Inspectors and Investigators, Explosive Enforcement Officers, Chemists, Scientists, Attorneys and other personnel who supported the ATF mission.
Join the ATF Association (ATFA) and receive the following member benefits:
To join click here
- Online membership directory to help you stay in touch
- ATFA LinkedIn Group
- ATFA Facebook Group Page
- Job postings to assist you find your post ATF career
- Monthly electronic ATF Association Newsletter
- ATF Association Retiree and Survivors Handbook
- To help with questions about FERS, CSRS, Social Security, Medicare, FEGLI, FEHB, TSP and Veterans’ Benefits.
- Information about HR-218 qualification
- RSS Feed – every day something new is posted on the home page titled “ATF Right Now”
- Press Releases from ATF
- Copies of “Inside ATF” newsletter
- Tuition discount from Marist College.
TSP membership news of interest:
So far this year, here’s what our friends in the federal government have done for — and to — citizens who hope to find simple ways to save enough money for retirement without anyone robbing them blind.
■ Continued a yearslong fight against a rule that requires many retirement advisers to act in their clients’ best interests.
■ Reversed a rule that would have made it easier for states to create retirement savings plans for people who don’t have one at work.
■ Abandoned a new federal program to help lower-income savers, young ones in particular.
This week, meanwhile, brought news of the Securities and Exchange Commission standing up for — wait for it — federal employees and their retirement money! Those workers have what is probably the best retirement plan of its kind in the country, called the Thrift Savings Plan. The S.E.C. accused four brokers in Georgia and a firm they represented of fraud after they allegedly persuaded about 200 people to move money out of the plans and put the funds in expensive annuities, earning hefty commissions.
So this is how things work now: More hurdles for everyday workers and a fabulous plan for federal employees — so good, in fact, that the alleged perpetrators here needed to cheat, according to the S.E.C., to get people to abandon it. We should all have such nice things, and we may yet someday. But meanwhile, sit back and take in the details, as they hold lessons for all of us.
The Thrift Savings Plan, a defined-contribution plan similar to a 401(k) for civil servants and retirees, as well as military members, does nearly everything right. The investment choices are limited, and mostly include index funds that own every stock in a sector instead of trying to pick stocks that will do better than others. The overall costs are about as low as employer-based retirement savings plans get: In 2016, they were 38 cents for every $1,000 someone had invested.
Given how good those federal employees have it, how do you get the older ones who are eligible to move their money out of the plan to do so? According to the S.E.C., you pretend that you’re affiliated with the plan and the government.
Which brings us to the target of the agency’s wrath, Federal Employee Benefit Counselors of Roswell, Ga. It has a spiffy official-looking seal on its home page and notes, despite its name, that it “does not engage in T.S.P. counseling.”
Look further on the firm’s website and you’ll find the following testimonial from someone named Judy, who said, “This service is the best-kept secret in the government” — which certainly implies a connection. Call its phone number even now, and you can press 3 for “Thrift Savings Plan review” information.
According to the S.E.C. complaint, plenty of people did, especially after the firm researched and targeted federal employees. (The agency would not comment on precisely how the firm did this or answer any of my follow-up questions.) In addition to the firm’s name and logo, the agency also pointed to forms and investment names that the firm used to “mislead” customers into thinking that it was “affiliated with or approved by the federal government.”