As noted in a recent article on the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), total plan assets in the TSP have passed $450 billion for the first time and the participation rate by federal employees in the FERS retirement system is up to 88.1%. The average Roth account balance for FERS employees was $6,005 as of February according to the TSP Board.
The participation rate for CSRS employees is 59.6% and it is 41% for military personnel.
34% of TSP investments are in the G fund followed by 28% in the C fund and 17% in the lifecycle funds. The lowest participation rates are in the F fund and the I fund—both of which have 5% of TSP assets. The S fund has 11% of TSP investments.
Despite its relative unpopularity with TSP investors, the I fund is ahead of all other TSP funds for the year-to-date with a return of 5.7%. 2012 was the last year that the I fund came out ahead of the larger C fund. In 2012, the I fund returned 18.62% while the C fund had a return of 16.07% for the year.
Although the C fund has a higher rate of return that the I fund in many recent years, the I fund can provide diversification in an investment portfolio for TSP investors as foreign stocks often have a different rate of return that the broad index of the U.S. stocks in the C fund.