Best 2021 TSP Return: 12.91%

Where will investors find the best TSP return so far in April and in 2021?

Where will investors find the best TSP return so far in April and so far in 2021? With one exception, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) has provided a solid return for investors for the first part of 2021.

For the year-to-date, as of April 23, 2021, the S Fund has the best return with 12.91%. The C Fund is a close second with a return of 11.79%. For reference, the S Fund was also the best performing TSP Fund in 2020 as well with a yearly return of 31.85%.

So far in April, again as of the 23rd of the month, the C Fund is up 5.29% and the S Fund is a close second as it is up 4.75%.

The only fund that is down so far this year is the F Fund which is off 2.38% in 2021.

All TSP returns are available and searchable at

Monthly and Yearly TSP Returns for Core Funds

Here are the YTD and monthly returns for each underlying TSP Fund as of April 23rd.

FundYTD ReturnMonthly Return
G Fund0.37%0.10%
F Fund-2.38%1.00%
C Fund11.79%5.29%
S Fund12.91%4.75%
I Fund8.08%4.39%

Significant Increase in Roth Participants

According to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB), there are now over 1.8 million participants are using the Roth option. Roth balances now total over $28 billion (the total TSP assets as of the end of March are about $735 billion). This is a 41% increase in the number of accounts and a 64% increase in assets since January of 2018.

FERS and active duty uniformed services participation rates are continuing to go up at 94.4% for FERS and 77.2% for uniformed services.

The average Roth balance for Roth accounts for FERS personnel is now $19,994. The average TSP balance for FERS investors is $169,435. (Also see The Roth TSP and Other Forms of ‘Tax Insurance).

Participants and Average Balance as of March 2021

Total Number of ParticipantsAverage BalanceNumber of Roth ParticipantsAverage Roth Balance
Uniformed Services1,353,295$35,828594,209$15,035
BRS Participants937,018$9,169512,580$8,504
Bene Participants32,531$131,8791,747$12,663

Interfund Transfers

In March, TSP investors transferred out $3.749 billion from the G Fund and $1.050 billion from the F Fund. The largest amount moved into a TSP Fund was into the S Fund which received $2.179 billion. The C Fund also received $1.465 in March. $354 million went into the I Fund and $800 million was transferred into the Lifecycle Funds.

To put these transfers into perspective, keep in mind there is now almost $735 billion in TSP assets.

Monthly Net Interfund Transfers – March 2021

Bar graph showing TSP interfund transfers March 2021

FedSmith will update readers on the TSP results for April on Monday, May 3rd.

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