C Fund Growth Continues: 26.82% So Far in 2021

TSP plan assets topped $800 billion for the first time in October. The C Fund leads all TSP stock funds in providing higher returns so far this year.

TSP Assets Now Over $800 Billion

While the C Fund is leading all of the core Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Funds in returns so far in 2021, on a broader scale, assets in the TSP have topped $800 billion for the first time. At the end of October, the plan balance was over $803.1 billion.

For comparison, at the end of October 2020, the plan balance was about $644.3 billion. This is a growth of about $158.8 billion in the TSP in one year.

Hardship Withdrawals Increase

Hardship withdrawals from the TSP have recently continued an upward trend that started in June. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) noted that if this trend continues, there will be a 34% increase in hardship withdrawals for 2021.

There was a significant decrease in the number of hardship withdrawals last year and the increase is likely due to the “bounce” back from the decrease in 2020.

Last year, the FRTIB created the CARES Act project to implement key provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act).

The project included several key provisions to enable TSP participants and beneficiaries to respond to their financial management needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These provisions were:

  • Changes in 2020 Required Minimum Distributions
  • Loan Payment Suspensions
  • An increase in the maximum loan amount to $100,000
  • CARES Act withdrawal provisions

These provisions may have been a factor in the decline in hardship withdrawals. This year, while there is an increase in withdrawals, the numbers are going back to a more normal rate.

C Fund Tops Other Core Fund Results So Far in November

Last month, the C Fund set a new record high. As the C Fund is based on the S&P 500 Index, it is not a surprise that the S&P 500 index also set a new record.

The C Fund has continued its upward trajectory so far in November. Through November 18, the C Fund is up 2.25% for the month, and for 2021, the C Fund is now up 26.82%.

The S Fund does not lag far behind the C Fund in growth. The S Fund has gone up 19.72% in 2021. And, through November 18th, the S Fund is up 1.69% for the month.

Here are the results for the TSP core funds so far in November and for the year-to-date.

Name of Fund+ or – %Year-to-Date
G Fund.07%1.20%
F Fund-0.2%-1.63%
C Fund2.25%26.82%
S Fund1.69%19.72%
I Fund0.7%12.03%
Source: TSPDataCenter.com

The figures are as of the close of markets on November 18, 2021. Readers can see the latest daily results and the latest TSP related news from FedSmith on TSPDataCenter.com.

C Fund Gains in Fund Transfers

It may not be surprising as a result of the C Fund’s performance so far in 2021 that more than $1.4 billion was transferred into the C Fund in October. About $1.47 billion was transferred out of the G Fund during the same time period.

While $1.47 billion or so is a great deal of money, the plan assets for the TSP are now greater than $800 billion, so most TSP investors do not routinely trade funds each month.

The C Fund has 39.2% of assets invested in the core TSP Funds. This fund now has 32.1% of participant allocation assets. The G Fund is still in a strong second place for TSP investors. The G Fund has 26.5% of participant allocation assets and 33.8% of core fund TSP assets.

31% of TSP participants (2,000,987) now have 100% of their TSP funds invested in the Lifecycle funds as of October 2021.

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