Most TSP Funds Take Another Tumble in March

Continued market volatility has begun to pull portfolios underwater for 2018.

Stock market tumult continued in March, resulting in another month of poor returns for the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program.

Three portfolios in the Thrift Savings Plan rose slightly in value last month. The G Fund, made up of government securities, grew 0.24 percent in March, bringing its 2018 gains to 0.66 percent. The fixed-income bonds in the F Fund rose 0.65 percent, although the fund remained 1.45 percent in the red for the year.

The S Fund, which invests in small- and mid-size businesses, grew 0.69 percent in March. Since January, the portfolio has grown 0.11 percent.

Those were the only rays of sunshine in the TSP’s monthly report. The common stocks of the C Fund fell 2.55 percent in March, bringing its 2018 total down 0.77 percent. International stocks in the I Fund continued to fall, losing 0.76 percent last month. The I Fund has fallen 1.08 percent in 2018.

All of the TSP’s lifecycle (L) funds—which shift investments toward more stable portfolios as people get closer to retirement—shrank last month, and the funds designed for younger workers are now in the red for the year. The L Income Fund, designed for people who have already begun receiving annuities, lost 0.08 percent. L 2020 fell 0.33 percent; L 2030, 0.78 percent; L 2040, 0.96 percent; and L 2050, 1.11 percent.

Thus far in 2018, the L Income Fund has grown 0.32 percent, and L 2020 increased 0.14 percent. But L 2030 fell 0.22 percent; L 2040, 0.39 percent; and L 2050, 0.53 percent.