TSP Funds Dropping in April

New records are being set by the TSP. Here is an update on TSP fund performance and some of the records cited by the TSP in its latest release.

New Records for the TSP

There were several new highs for the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) in March. The FERS participation rate is now 95.7%; the full matching rate for FERS and BRS Active Duty reached 87.6% and 86.7% respectively; and participants rolled more than six thousand checks totaling more than $282 million from other qualified plans into the TSP.

Total assets in the TSP are up to $895 billion as of March 31, 2024.

C Fund Position Growing and Continues as Largest TSP Fund

The asset allocation by TSP participants in the C Fund is growing. As of March 31, 2024, 34.1% of participant assets are now in the C Fund. The G Fund is now at 25.7% of participant allocations.

To put this into perspective, in December 2022, the C Fund had 28.9% of participant-allocated funds, and the G Fund had 33.1%. This shows that participants were moving more of their investment money into the TSP’s leading stock fund as the market went higher. Conversely, participants gradually moved money into the G Fund instead of stock funds as the market declined.

At the end of March, the C Fund had $305.2 billion in assets, up from $268.7 billion in December 2021. The amount in the G Fund also went up, obviously less than the C Fund—from $210.9 in December 2021 to $230 billion at the end of March.

TSP Fund Performance Month-to-Date and Year-to-Date

G Fund0.26%1.31%
F Fund-2.24%-2.97%
C Fund-4.58%5.49%
S Fund-6.78%-0.33%
I Fund-3.61%2.13%
L Income-1.13%1.67%
L 2025-1.47%1.91%
L 2030-2.78%2.44%
L 2035-3.08%2.53%
L 2040-3.37%2.64%
L 2045-3.62%2.72%
L 2050-3.85%2.83%
L 2055-4.50%3.50%
L 2060-4.51%3.49%
L 2065-4.51%3.49%
Returns as of April 22, 2024 | Source: TSPDataCenter.com

Expectations that the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates helped stocks advance to repeated high marks. With inflation still going up in 2024, investors are getting nervous. Reports on company earnings for the year’s first quarter are starting to come out now. These earning reports will impact the short-term direction of stock prices.

Stock prices in 2024 are now showing volatility. Concerns about world events, the latest inflation, and the disappointment that interest rates are continuing at a high level have led to uncertainty about the direction of the market.

The TSP often reports the percentage of TSP investors who engage in frequent trades to be a small percentage of investors despite the shift in the size of various TSP funds. Of course, the size of the TSP means that a small percentage of change is a great deal of money. How TSP investors choose to invest their money is a popular feature of this program so some investors will continue to try and gauge the future direction of the market.

The increasing size of the TSP indicates this federal employee benefit is one of the most popular benefits for the federal workforce.

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