2 TSP Funds Up 11% and 17% So Far in 2019

Which TSP funds have returns of more than 11% and 17% so far in 2019?

Best Two-Month Start for Stocks in Decades

Based on the two leading indices for stocks, the stock market ended in February with its best two-month start for a year in three decades.

The C fund is up 11.48% so far this year. The S fund is up 17.20% for the year-to-date. The S fund has never had a return in February that equaled or exceeded 4.98%. (The S fund started in 2000.)

The S fund also had the highest rate of return in February (4.98%) and it also has the highest 12-month return (6.96%).

Monthly and 12 Month TSP Returns

G Fund F Fund C Fund S Fund I Fund
Month 0.20% -0.06% 3.21% 4.98% 2.55%
YTD 0.43% 1.00% 11.48% 17.20% 9.32%
12 Month 2.93% 3.32% 4.66% 6.96% -5.05%


L Income L 2020 L 2030 L 2040 L 2050
Month 0.80% 1.06% 2.00% 2.36% 2.68%
YTD 2.64% 3.62% 7.02% 8.36% 9.53%
12 Month 2.97% 2.76% 2.62% 2.47% 2.34%

TSP Facts

January hardship withdrawals went up 25%. This is probably due to the partial government shutdown. Requests for new loans were stable though.

Average Balances

CSRS participants have the highest average balance in the TSP ($146,642) but only 314,193 employees compared to 3,396,291 FERS employees in the TSP.

Here are the breakouts:

Total Participants Average Balance # of Roth Participants Average Roth Balance
FERS 3,396,291 $138,933 531,665 $12,952
CSRS 314,193 $146,642 9,982 $19,905
Uniformed Services 1,334,581 $25,602 534,192 $8,487

Interfund Transfers

January was a great month for the stock market.

TSP participants withdrew $924 million from the G fund in January. They also withdrew $67 million from the F fund and $26 million from the I fund.

On the positive side, TSP investors transferred $289 million into the C fund; $557 million into the S fund; and $171 million into the L funds.

2019 is off to a great start for TSP investors. It is very unlikely this rapid rate of growth will continue. No one can predict with certainty what the short-term results will be in the stock market. But, with the significant year-to-date returns, it is possible a correction could occur at any time. Hang on to your hats—we may be in for a volatile year in stocks!

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