The number of civilian participants enrolled in the federal employees’ retirement investment plan has dropped to its lowest point in the last year.
About 2.4 million participants were enrolled through the Federal Employees Retirement Systems as of last month, according to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board -- the agency that administers the Thrift Savings Plan. The board raised the possibility of furloughs being responsible for the decline, but said unstable markets could have also caused the withdrawals.
TSP funds performed poorly in June, though they have so far rebounded in July. The C Fund -- invested in common stocks -- is up more than 8 percent on the month, while the I Fund -- invested in international stocks -- is up more than 5 percent.
It is not uncommon to see withdrawals from retirement funds in June, members of the board’s executive staff explained, as enrollees shift their assets to pay for summer vacations.
As participation dipped, more enrollees shifted their investments into safer funds. Federal workers and retirees shifted about $1.8 billion to the G Fund, which invests in government securities and is TSP’s most stable offering. Most of the transfers came out of the Fixed Income Fund, which is down 2.2 percent on the year.