Abstractive document summarization is a comprehensive task including document understanding and summary generation, in which area Transformer-based models have achieved the state-of-the-art performance. Compared with Transformers, topic models are better at learning explicit document semantics, and hence could be integrated into Transformers to further boost their performance. To this end, we rearrange and explore the semantics learned by a topic model, and then propose a topic assistant (TA) including three modules. TA is compatible with various Transformer-based models and user-friendly since i) TA is a plug-and-play model that does not break any structure of the original Transformer network, making users easily fine-tune Transformer+TA based on a well pre-trained model; ii) TA only introduces a small number of extra parameters. Experimental results on three datasets demonstrate that TA is able to improve the performance of several Transformer-based models.