September Sees Very Small Gains for Federal Retirement Investments

September was another slow month for the funds in the 401(k)-style federal employee retirement savings program.

The international stocks in the Thrift Savings Plan’s I Fund boasted the best performance last month, but still had very modest growth of 1.24 percent. The I Fund was up 2.8 percent for the year to date.

The S Fund, invested in small- and midsize companies, had the second-highest earnings in September, at 0.9 percent. That fund was up 10.11 percent for 2016 so far.

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Government securities in the typically stable G Fund came in next, with 0.13 percent growth for September. The G Fund has gained 1.32 percent for the year to date.

Common stocks in the C Fund barely moved last month, inching up 0.02 percent. They had a much better performance for the year to date, however, with a 7.87 percent increase.

Fixed income bonds were in the red for the second month in a row, losing 0.04 percent in September. They were still up 6.01 percent for 2016.

The lifecycle (L) funds, which move investors to a less risky portfolio as they get closer to retirement, followed the same trend of small gains for September. L Income – for people who have already started making withdrawals -- was up 0.20 percent for the month. L 2020 grew 0.3 percent in September; L 2030, 0.38 percent; L 2040, 0.43 percent; and L 2050, 0.48 percent.

The L Funds similarly were all in the black for the year to date, with greater gains in the funds designed for participants further from retirement. L Income was up 2.82 percent for the year to date; L 2020, 4.15 percent; L 2030, 5.23 percent; L 2040, 5.78 percent; and L 2050, 6.21 percent.

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