Retirement returns grow steadily in February

All funds in the Thrift Savings Plan post slightly lower gains than January, but stay in the black.

Monthly returns from Thrift Savings Plan investments showed a slight downtick in February, but still put in a solid performance after a disappointing finish to 2011.

The S Fund, which invests in small and midsize companies and tracks the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Index, experienced the most substantial slowdown, growing 3.99 percent in February after finishing January almost 4 percentage points higher. The I Fund, invested in international stocks, remained steady at 5.36 percent. January’s figure was 5.14 percent.

The C Fund, invested in common stocks on Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, finished February at 4.34 percent, after increasing 4.5 percent the previous month, a huge gain over December 2011 levels.

Stock-based funds have grown significantly for the year to date as well, with the I Fund gaining 10.77 percent, the S Fund increasing 11.88 percent and the C Fund rising 9.03 percent.

The TSP’s fixed income bond offering (the F Fund) finished February at 0.05 percent, and its government-backed securities fund (G) posted 0.12 percent growth. Both those figures were just barely below January levels. The bonds have posted gains of 0.93 percent for 2012, and the securities in the G Fund have earned 0.25 percent for the year to date.

Life-cycle funds -- designed to move investors to less risky portfolios as they near retirement -- also finished February in the black. The L Income Fund for federal employees who have reached their target retirement date and have started withdrawing money, finished at 0.98 percent for the month and 2.16 for 2012 so far. The L 2020 Fund finished at 2.53 percent for February and 5.63 percent for 2012; L 2030 gained 3.10 percent for the month, and 6.99 percent for the year; L 2040 had monthly returns of 3.54 percent and 2012 growth of 8.03; and L 2050 finished February at 3.99 percent and has gained 9.05 percent for the year. All the monthly figures were slightly smaller than January’s gains, falling short by 2 percentage points or less.

(Image via lenetstan/Shutterstock.com)

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