TSP Performance Positive in 2023, Declining in March

So far in March 2023, TSP performance is generally disappointing. So far in 2023, however, TSP performance is still positive for all TSP Funds.

In 2023, there has been a change in the TSP funds that are performing better. In particular, the I Fund is ahead of any other TSP Fund with a return of 5.15%. Looking ahead to the new year, January was a good month for the TSP and the funds still reflect that positive TSP performance.

TSP Performance for All Funds Positive in 2023

So far this month, March has not been profitable for many TSP investors. For core TSP Funds, the F Fund has been the most successful this month. It is also up 2.63% for the year. The G Fund has returned 0.92% for the year-to-date.

So far in 2023, the I Fund is ahead of any other TSP Fund with a return of 5.15%. For all of 2022, the I Fund dropped -13.94%.

Uncertainty in the economy as a result of concerns about the stability of banks, continuing inflation, actions to be taken by the Federal Reserve and the continuing war in Ukraine are still concerns that are impacting stock market returns. Despite these events as a backdrop, every TSP Fund is still showing a positive return for the year-t0-date.

On the other hand, keep in mind that all of these factors lead to the probability of continuing stock market volatility. There is also likely to be volatility in bond funds as a result of continuing inflation and the likelihood of further rate increases by the Federal Reserve.

Investors who react quickly to the latest headlines in financial news are likely to create unnecessary stress. Making investment decisions based largely on the latest news headlines, and projecting market activity in a short-term future, often leads to disappointing results.

2023 TSP Performance for All Funds

Here are the month-to-date and year-to-date TSP returns for all of the TSP Funds as of March 27, 2023.

G Fund0.30%0.92%
F Fund2.03%2.63%
C Fund0.33%4.02%
S Fund-6.54%1.88%
I Fund-0.20%5.15%
L Income0.16%1.86%
L 20250.02%2.33%
L 2030-0.22%3.04%
L 2035-0.27%3.24%
L 2040-0.34%3.43%
L 2045-0.41%3.59%
L 2050-0.48%3.74%
L 2055-0.80%4.16%
L 2060-0.80%4.16%
L 2065-0.80%4.16%
Source: TSPDataCenter.com

TSP Changes and TSP Balance Changes in 2023

From the end of December 2022 to the end of February 2022, total TSP investments have increased from just under $726 billion to $748 billion.

At the same time, the average total of TSP balances has gone up as well.

Average Balance
December 31, 2022
Average Balance
February 28, 2023
Roth Balance
December 2022
Roth Balance
February 2023

Interfund Transfers

TSP investors transferred about $982 million into the S Fund in February. $151 million was transferred into the Lifecycle Funds.

In the same month, $689 million was transferred out of the G Fund and $452 million out of the I Fund.

The G Fund is still the largest TSP Fund with 32% of participant allocation into this Fund. The C Fund is the second largest with 29% of participant allocation.

More statistical information on the TSP is available in the video at the top of this article.

Start of Year Busiest Time for TSP

The busiest time of the year for the TSP Thriftline is the early months of the year. Taxes are due, forms have to be accessed and reviewed, required minimum distributions are starting, and the end-of-the-year data are available to participants.

In February, there were 263,477 calls from TSP participants. The TSP reports that the wait time required to answer these calls continues to improve (54 seconds to answer) and reached a monthly satisfaction score of 89.2%. The TSP noted that calls are now being answered faster than they were a year ago despite more calls having been received.

The “abandonment rate” for the same time last year was about 15%. This year, the abandonment rate was less than 2% despite a greater number of calls.

As can be seen from the increase in the average TSP balances outlined above, participants rolled a great deal of money ($135 million) into the TSP in February.

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