S Fund Back on Top in May TSP Returns

The S and C funds provided healthy returns to investors in May but the I fund, while still leading for the year, finished in negative territory for May.

In April, the International fund for the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), led the pack with a return of 4.11% for the month.

In a turnaround, the I fund finished at the bottom of the TSP rankings for May with a loss of 0.42%. But, I fund investors may not be too concerned—the I fund is still up 9.59% for the year-to-date to lead all of the other TSP funds.

Here are the results for all of the TSP funds for May, the year-to-date and for the past 12 months:

G Fund F Fund C Fund S Fund I Fund
Month 0.17% -0.26% 1.29% 1.84% -0.42%
YTD 0.79% 1.13% 3.26% 5.71% 9.59%
12 Month 2.11% 3.57% 11.89% 12.07% -0.21%


L Income L 2020 L 2030 L 2040 L 2050
Month 0.30% 0.50% 0.62% 0.72% 0.78%
YTD 1.72% 3.25% 3.96% 4.43% 4.97%
12 Month 3.61% 5.41% 6.38% 7.08% 7.51%

Actions by TSP Investors

Some TSP investors may have been chasing returns. In April, $399 million was transferred into the I fund and $991 million transferred out of the C fund. That may have hurt the returns of some investors as the C fund had a good month with a return of 1.29%.

Another $165 million was transferred into the G fund and $96 million into the F fund. $179 million was also transferred into the S fund and $153 million into the lifecycle funds (L funds).

Which Funds Do TSP Investors Prefer?

34% of TSP funds are in the G fund—the most popular choice. 38% of TSP funds are in the C fund. 11% are in the S fund. 5% of investors’ funds are in the I fund and the F fund.

17% of TSP funds are now in the lifecycle funds (L funds).

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47