A single email to military Servicemembers nearly doubled the rate of savings plan enrollment

Roth TSP enrollment

Roth TSP enrollment

What was the challenge?

The Federal Government operates a workplace savings program called the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for all of its employees. While civilian employees are automatically enrolled in TSP, Servicemembers are not. Just 42% of Servicemembers, compared to 87% of civilians, are enrolled in TSP. To enroll, Servicemembers need to know about the program, login to the website, and select a contribution percentage.

What was the program change?

We developed eight different email messages that utilized different combinations of proven insights: clear action steps, fresh-start messaging, presentation of the decision to enroll in TSP as a choice between two options, and emphasis on short- and long-term benefits.

How did the evaluation work?

806,861 Servicemembers not enrolled in TSP were assigned to one of 10 email groups based on the last two digits of their Social Security Number. TSP enrollments were then tracked based on email type.

What was the impact?

One month after the emails were sent, 14,491 previously-unenrolled Servicemembers had enrolled in TSP, indicating that informational email campaigns are effective at prompting Servicemember enrollment in TSP.





Project Type

Impact evaluation of program change




Retirement Security

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