TSP Returns in 2024: C Fund Roaring in First Six Months to Lead All Funds

Large tech companies have been surging in 2024. This surge has benefited the C Fund, the TSP’s most popular fund.

The U.S. stock market rallied in the first half of 2024. The S&P 500 index (the index on which the C Fund is based) had a double-digit gain as it ended June near its record high. That index has increased 14.5% in the year’s first half.

The C Fund was up a little more than that, finishing up 15.28% for the year’s first six months. The C Fund is the best-performing fund among the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) core stock funds.

C Fund Increases Lead as Most Popular As TSP Investors Continue Switching to C Fund

This trend in corporate earnings has benefitted the C Fund, which continues to grow its lead as the largest fund in the TSP.

As of the end of May, the C Fund had 34.3% of participant allocations in the TSP. As the stock market has increased this year, more money has flowed into the C Fund. In one month, the C Fund assets from participants went from $293.1 billion to $308.4 billion. At the end of December, the C Fund had $270.9 billion in investor-allocated assets.

At the same time, the G Fund’s investor assets went from $234.1 billion (27.7%) at the end of December to $230.4 billion (25.7%) at the end of May. This trend is likely to continue when June statistics are calculated and investors continue to show confidence in the upward trend continuing in the near future.

In 2022, the C Fund declined 18.13%. As the stock market declined, some TSP investors withdrew their money or transferred it into other investments, including the G Fund. At the end of 2022, the G Fund was the most popular TSP fund among investor allocations. As of December 31, 2022, the G Fund had 33.1% of TSP investors’ money. The C Fund was in second place as the TSP Fund of choice, with 28.9% of participant-allocated funds.

In 2023, as the market recovered, some investors were moving their money back into the C Fund. By the end of 2023, the C Fund was again the most popular TSP stock fund with 32% of investor-allocated funds. And, by the end of May, the C Fund was up to 34.3% of investor-allocated funds.

The S Fund sometimes has the biggest gains among the TSP Funds as the market heads up. The S Fund consists of stock of smaller companies. These companies often grow faster than the larger companies in the C Fund.

The reason for the surging C Fund, and the much smaller gains for the S Fund, is that some large big-tech stocks has been responsible for much of the market movement this year. As noted in Marketwatch:

[T]he first half of 2024 has been ‘a tale of two markets’ when looking at the maximum pullback for the top-heavy S&P 500 index versus the much larger average drawdown seen among members….”There’s been a lot more churn and a lot more weakness under the surface, but it’s been masked by a lot of these megacap names” that have posted big gains in 2024….

The F Fund is the only TSP Fund in the red for the year with a loss of -0.63% as of the end of June.

TSP Returns for June 2024 and Year-to-Date

FundJune 2024 ReturnsYear-to-Date Returns
G Fund0.38%2.21%
F Fund0.94%-0.63%
C Fund3.58%15.28%
S Fund-0.10%3.28%
I Fund-1.62%5.85%
L Income0.65%4.13%
L 20250.71%4.78%
L 20300.95%6.92%
L 20351.00%7.36%
L 20401.05%7.81%
L 20451.10%8.19%
L 20501.14%8.59%
L 20551.25%10.19%
L 20601.25%10.19%
L 20651.25%10.19%
Source: TSPDataCenter.com

TSP Facts

The total assets in the TSP as of May 31, 2024 were up to $898 billion.

There are now 7,062,535 investors in the TSP. There are many more TSP investors than current federal employees because the TSP is open to a number of other categories of people. Military personnel now account for 1,397,905 TSP investors. TSP beneficiaries are also TSP investors.

The largest group of TSP investors is those in FERS, the current federal retirement system. This group has 4,105,535 investors. There are now 244,342 investors in CSRS—the retirement system that preceded FERS.

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