TSP nest eggs growing

When it comes to saving and investing for retirement, federal and military personnel are way ahead of their private sector counterparts. While many Americans do or will depend almost entirely on Social Security alone when they retire, members of the uniformed services and the federal civil servants are taking advantage of various voluntary savings-investment options available to them.

Despite, or maybe because of, the ups and downs of the stock market, the average value of Thrift Savings Plan accounts continues to increase by an average of about $3,000 per month, per investor.

In April, the average TSP account balance of investors under the Federal Employees Retirement System was $145,423. That was up from $142,512 in March of this year. Just over 3.4 million workers and retirees under the FERS system have TSP accounts.

In April the average TSP account balance for investors under the old Civil Service Retirement System was $153,391, up from $150,467 the month before. There are 309,151 CSRS participants in the TSP according to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.


The average balance for uniformed services participants in the TSP was $27,327 in April, up from $26,630 the previous month. There are 1.3 million members of the uniformed military participating in the TSP, which is Uncle Sam’s on-steriods version of a 401k plan.

Only about 13% of private companies offer 401k plan options to their employees. Many don’t make any matching contributions to employee accounts. The federal government will match up to 5% for FERS investors.

The tax-free-when-you- retire Roth option is also very popular with workers and retirees. As of April, 560,625 FERS participants had Roth accounts worth an average of $13,379. There were 10,085 CSRS participants with an average balance of $21,379. And 526,306 members of the uniformed services had Roth accounts in the TSP with an average balance of $9,342.

Estimates of how well, or poorly, Americans are saving for retirement vary all over the place. But most surveys or estimates indicate that many people have little or nothing and that a large number of people would be hard-pressed if suddenly presented with a $400 bill. Whatever the actual numbers, it appears that many, if not most, federal workers— thanks to their regular annuities and investments in the TSP — will be among the most comfortable folks in retirement.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Alazar Moges

When you think of the office of the presidency, you think about power. But physically, many of the men that held the role didn’t exactly fit the traditional build. None more than our fourth president, James Madison, who stood at only 5 feet 4 inches and weighed around one hundred pounds. Power can come in many sizes.

Source: Business Insider