September Sees Very Small Gains for Federal Retirement Investments

All but one of the funds in the TSP grew, but the biggest earner was only up 1.24 percent.

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.

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.