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Most TSP Funds Take a Nosedive in December

All but two of the Thrift Savings Plan’s investment offerings ended 2018 on a sour note.

The portfolios in the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings plan were not immune to the sharp downturn in the stock market in the waning days of 2018, as most funds saw sharp declines.

The small- and mid-size businesses in the S Fund had the worst decline last month, falling 10.70 percent. In 2018, the portfolio lost 9.26 percent.

The common stocks of the C Fund lost 9.03 percent in December, bringing the fund's total loss for 2018 to 4.41 percent. And the I Fund, which is made up of international investments, fell 4.82 percent in December, leaving it 13.43 percent in the red for the year.

The fixed income bonds in the F Fund grew in December, gaining 1.84 percent. That increase brought the portfolio 0.15 percent into the black for 2018. And the G Fund, which is made up of government securities, increased 0.26 percent, for total growth of 2.91 percent last year.

All of the lifecycle (L) funds, which shift investments to more stable portfolios as participants get closer to retirement, lost money in December. The L Income fund, designed for people who have already started withdrawing money, fell 1.31 percent; L 2020, 2.18 percent; L 2030, 4.64 percent; L 2040, 5.61 percent; and L 2050, 6.45 percent.

In 2018, the L Income Fund was the only lifecycle fund to grow, increasing 0.71 percent. The L 2020 Fund lost 0.36 percent; L 2030, 3.58 percent; L 2040, 4.89 percent; and L 2050, 6.02 percent.