Retirement funds start 2013 strong

McIek/Shutterstock.com

So far 2013 has been a good year for the Thrift Savings Plan’s investment funds, with all but one posting positive returns for January.

The S Fund led the pack, increasing 6.96 percent for the month. The fund – which is invested in small and midsize companies and tracks the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index – also had the highest gains for the past 12 months, at 17.87 percent.

The common stocks (C) fund wasn’t far behind, earning 5.18 percent in January and 16.83 percent for the previous 12 months. International stocks put in a strong performance, too, growing 4.45 percent last month and 17.6 percent over 12 months.

Government securities in the G Fund had much more modest gains, at just 0.13 percent in January and 1.46 percent for the past 12 months. TSP officials have assured investors that money in the G Fund is safe despite a temporary suspension of re-investments into the fund as part of Treasury efforts to avoid a default on U.S. debt.

The fixed income (F) fund was the sole loser last month, dropping 0.56 percent. It was still up 2.8 percent for the previous 12 months.

The lifecycle funds, designed to move investors to less risky portfolios as they near retirement, were all in the black for January. L Income – for TSP participants who have already started withdrawing money – earned 1.1 percent; L 2020 increased 2.83 percent; L 2030 was up 3.56 percent; L 2040 grew 4.11 percent; and L 2050 came in at 4.63 percent.

Lifecycle investments also did well for the past 12 months, with L Income gaining 4.7 percent, L 2020 up 10.21 percent, L 2030 increasing 12.39 percent, L 2040 bringing in 14.01 percent and L 2050 at 15.59 percent.

(Image via McIek/Shutterstock.com)

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