TSP Funds Have a Red October

The stable but low-growth G Fund was the only offering to post positive returns last month.

October was a disappointing month for the Thrift Savings Plan, with all but one of its funds in the red, according to the latest numbers from the board that oversees the government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program.

The government securities fund, the most stable TSP offering, increased a modest 0.14 percent last month -- the only fund to post positive returns. The G Fund is up 1.46 percent for the year to date. The S Fund, invested in small- and midsize companies, had the worst showing of the 10 TSP funds, losing 3.86 percent in October. The fund, however, has increased 5.86 percent since January.

International stocks fell 2.03 percent in October, and have gained just 0.71 percent for the year to date. Common stocks in the C Fund lost 1.82 percent last month, but have increased 5.91 percent since January.

Fixed income bonds also were in the red, dipping 0.74 percent in October. The F Fund has increased 5.22 percent for the year to date.

The lifecycle (L) funds, which move investors to a less risky portfolio as they get closer to retirement, were all down in October. L Income – for people who have already started making withdrawals – fell 0.38 percent for the month. L 2020 decreased 0.91 percent in October; L 2030, 1.39 percent; L 2040, 1.66 percent; and L 2050, 1.89 percent.

The L Funds, however, 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 2.43 percent for the year to date; L 2020, 3.21 percent; L 2030, 3.77 percent; L 2040, 4.03 percent; and L 2050, 4.20 percent.