Most TSP funds down in May

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Thrift Savings Plan returns for May continued April’s downward trend, with most funds finishing the month lower than they started.

Like April’s returns, all funds ended May in the red except for the F Fund, invested in fixed-income bonds, and the G Fund, comprised of government-backed securities. The F Fund was up 0.91 percent in May, and the G Fund was up 0.14 percent.

The troubled I Fund, invested in international stocks, ended May down 11.40 percent, a dramatic decline after April’s drop of 1.87 percent. The fund has posted losses of more than 20 percent during the past 12 months.

The C and S funds also saw large dips in May: The C Fund, invested in stocks on Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, lost just shy of 6 percent, and the S Fund, invested in small and midsize companies that track the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index, posted a loss of 6.91 percent.

All TSP’s life-cycle funds ended May in the red, including the L Income Fund, which had gained 0.01 in April. That fund, meant for federal employees who have reached their target retirement date and have started withdrawing money, lost 1.38 percent in May, but has gained 1.31 percent this year to date.

The L 2020 lost 4.20 percent in May; it is up more than 2 percent since the start of 2012. The L 2030 lost 5.23 percent in April; it is also up more than 2 percent since 2012 began but has posted negative returns during the past 12 months. The L 2040 was down 6 percent in May, and the L 2050 was down by nearly 7 percent. Both the L 2040 and L 2050 funds have posted positive returns in 2012 so far, but are in the red compared to a year ago.

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