A pedestrian wearing a surgical mask and gloves walks past the New York Stock Exchange in mid-March.

A pedestrian wearing a surgical mask and gloves walks past the New York Stock Exchange in mid-March. Kevin Hagen / AP

TSP Portfolios Plummet, and a Delay to the Annual Federal Morale Survey

A weekly roundup of pay and benefits news.

Nearly every fund in the federal government’s 401(k)-style retirement savings program tumbled in March, as the stock markets reeled in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The G Fund, made up of government securities, was the only Thrift Savings Plan portfolio in the black last month, gaining 0.11%. So far this year, the G Fund has grown 0.40%.

The fixed income bonds in the F Fund fell 0.11% in March, bringing its 2020 gains down to 3.1%. The common stocks in the C Fund decreased 12.40% last month, bringing its performance so far this year to 19.65% in the red.

The international investments of the I Fund lost 13.87% in March. So far this year, the I Fund has fallen 22.70%. And the small- and mid-size businesses in the S Fund crashed 21.40% last month. Since January, the S Fund has lost 28.14% in value.

All of the TSP’s lifecycle (L) funds, which shift to more stable investments as participants get closer to retirement, likewise lost value in March. The L Income Fund, which is designed for people already making withdrawals, fell 3.09%; L 2020, 3.52%; L 2030, 8.72%; L 2040, 10.42%; and L 2050, 11.90%.

So far in 2020, the L Income Fund has lost 4.56%; L 2020, 5.23%; L 2030, 13.35%; L 2040, 15.92%; and L 2050, 18.13%.

Disruption from the coronavirus also led the Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday to announce that it would postpone the deployment of the federal government’s annual survey of federal employee engagement and morale.

The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey typically goes out to federal workers beginning in May each year, and aims to measure employees’ happiness with agency leadership, compensation and other workforce issues. But with so many federal employees teleworking in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, officials feared moving forward as originally scheduled would reduce the number of people who participate.

“The 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey is being postponed to support your critical agency missions as well as maximize employee participation in the survey,” wrote acting OPM Director Michael Rigas in a memo to agency heads. “The governmentwide FEVS administration is now tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, July 13, with a six-week fielding period.”

It was unclear Wednesday as to how the change might affect the publication of the results of the survey.

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