TSP falls flat in August, Hurricane Harvey brings relaxation of rules

The Thrift Savings Plan may have received a swift boost in July, but the returns were not nearly as fruitful in August.

Out of the five TSP funds, only two returned with an increase in growth — the fixed-income index investment fund (F) and the C fund. The G Fund, or government securities investment fund, remained stagnant with with the same 0.19 percent return as in July.

The  F fund posted the highest monthly return in August at 0.91 percent — almost a 50 percent increase from July —bringing the year-to-date average to 3.86 percent.

This return helped the F fund reenter the black at 0.78 percent.


The C fund, based on stocks from the S&P index, increased 0.30 percent bringing its year-to-date average to 11.93 percent and a 16.24 percent increase over the last 12 months.

Winner of the highest return last month, the I fund took a three percent loss in August, once again showing the volatility of the international stocks fund. Despite its decline, the I fund has had the highest percentage of growth, 18 percent, over the last year.

Posting the lowest monthly return is the small-cap stocks fund. The past 12 months have shown a major dip in the S fund, falling from 1.11 percent in July to the negatives (-0.41 percent).

The low-risk G fund, stuck at 0.19 percent over the last three months, but has increased to 1.55 percent for 2017 and 2.19 percent for the past 12 months.

The five TSP lifecycle funds saw minor increases in growth, with the L income fund coming in first place with 0.22 percent for August, 3.92 for 2017 and 4.91 percent over the last 12 months.

The L 2050, last month’s lead, only increased 0.15 percent this month.

Response to Hurricane Harvey

The TSP’s administrative body, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, announced a temporary change to the TSP hardship withdrawal rules in response to the devastating aftereffects of Hurricane Harvey in a Sept. 1 press release.

The FRTIB instructs TSP participants who wish to seek hardship withdrawal as a result of the hurricane to apply now by writing “Hurricane Harvey” at the top of their Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request (TSP-76) forms and checking off the question on the form about personal casualty.

“The TSP will then waive the rule that prohibits a participant from making employee contributions for 6 months after taking the hardship withdrawal,” the release said. “This will allow an employee to continue to make contributions to the TSP and receive the employer match.”

Participants have until Jan. 24, 2018 to turn in applications and must make their distributions before January 31, 2018 to qualify for this treatment, the FRTIB said.



Thrift Savings Plan — August 2017 Returns
Fund August Year-to-Date Last 12 Months
G fund 0.19% 1.55% 2.19%
F fund 0.91% 3.86% 0.78%
C fund 0.30% 11.93% 16.24%
S fund -0.41% 8.16% 15.31%
I fund -0.03% 17.35% 18.00%
L Income 0.22% 3.92% 4.91%
L 2020 0.21% 6.18% 7.85%
L 2030 0.19% 8.74% 11.06%
L 2040 0.17% 9.97% 12.65%
L 2050 0.15% 11.07% 14.17%

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