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Soaring Stock Market Means More TSP Millionaires

The rising stock market has rewarded TSP investors who have stayed invested for the long term.

As the stock market continues to climb to new record levels, it is helping federal employees with their retirement savings as well. The number of federal employee millionaires investing in the Thrift Savings Plan has hit a new high.

According to the latest data from the TSP, as of the end of the first quarter 2021, there are now 84,808 TSP investors with a balance of $1 million or more. The highest account balance is now pushing $10 million; the lucky current or former federal employee with this designation has a total TSP account balance of $9,318,238.

The number of millionaires in the TSP has increased 12.4% since the end of 2020.

Here is the latest breakdown of data on TSP account balances:

Account BalanceNumber of ParticipantsAverage Years of Contributions
<$50k3,623,1855.84
$50k-$249k1,519,78915.26
$250k-$499k520,23220.58
$500k-$749k203,34423.38
$750k-$999k92,99925.61
≥ $1 million84,80828.53
Total6,044,35710.73

Historical Growth of TSP Millionaires

This table shows the growth in the number of millionaires in the TSP since 2011:

YearNumber of Millionaires
202075,420
201949,620
201821,432
201723,962
20169,599
20153,272
20144,167
20131,695
2012562
2011208

The TSP is designed to be a long-term savings plan for federal employees to build up savings to use in retirement over the course of their federal careers. As these data indicate, the TSP participants who invest for the longest amounts of time are rewarded handsomely.

Investing in the stock funds over the course of a federal career stands to yield the best returns over a long period of time. The S&P 500 has been in existence since 1926 and has averaged between 10% and 11% from 1926 to 2018. The TSP’s C Fund tracks the S&P 500.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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