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TSP Funds Level Off After Months of Volatility

Most offerings in the 401(k)-style program stay flat in April.

After months of volatility and big swings in the stock markets, portfolios in the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program were generally flat last month, with most ending April slightly in the black.

The international stocks of the Thrift Savings Plan’s I Fund saw the biggest gains in April, growing by 2.01 percent. That brought the fund's 2018 total back into positive territory at 0.90 percent. The C Fund’s common stocks grew 0.38 percent last month, but that wasn’t enough to erase previous months’ losses—since January the fund has fallen 0.40 percent.

The G Fund, which is made up of government securities, increased 0.23 percent in April. The portfolio has grown 0.88 percent for 2018.

The fixed income (F) fund was the only TSP offering to end April in the red, losing 0.73 percent. Its losses on the year now sit at 2.17 percent.

The TSP’s lifecycle (L) funds, which shift investments to more stable portfolios as participants get closer to retirement, all gained ground in April. The L Income Fund, for people who already have begun receiving annuities, grew 0.30 percent. The L 2020 increased 0.36 percent; L 2030, 0.55 percent; L 2040, 0.62 percent; and L 2050, 0.69 percent.

Since January, the L Income Fund has increased 0.62 percent; L 2020, 0.50 percent; L 2030, 0.33 percent; L 2040, 0.23 percent; and L 2050, 0.16 percent.