Another Grim Month for TSP Returns

Stuart Monk /

All of the stock-based funds in the federal employee 401(k)-style retirement program closed out January in the red.

The Thrift Savings Plan’s S Fund, invested in small and midsize companies, lost the most ground. It was down 8.72 percent for January, and its performance over the past 12 months was the worst as well, with a loss of 9.72 percent.

International stocks in the I Fund lost 5.62 percent last month and were down 7.21 percent for the past 12 months. The common stocks (C) fund was not much better for the month, with losses of 4.96 percent in January. But the C Fund was just 0.59 percent in the red for the past 12 months.

The government securities (G) fund and the fixed income bonds in the F Fund were the only TSP offerings that posted gains in January. The F Fund was up the most, at 1.49 percent for the month. The G Fund was up 0.19 percent in January. The F Fund gained 0.28 percent over the past 12 months, and the G Fund increased 2.06 percent over that time.

The lifecycle (L) funds, which shift investors to more conservative portfolios as they near retirement, were all down last month. L Income – for those who have already started withdrawing money – lost 0.91 percent. L 2020 was down 2.55 percent; L 2030, 3.58 percent; L 2040, 4.21 percent; and L 2050, 4.86 percent.  Over the past 12 months, L Income gained 1.01 percent. L 2020 was down 0.66 percent; L 2030, 1.76 percent; L 2040, 2.52 percent; and L 2050, 3.29 percent. 

(Image via Stuart Monk /

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