Post shutdown, TSP starts 2019 with relatively positive returns

The Thrift Savings Plan ended 2018 with some devastating tumbles, but things are looking better in the new year — despite what seemed to be shutdown-related withdrawal fever. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, the agency that administers the TSP, said it saw more signs of financial distress from its participants during the government shutdown. Still, January 2019 growth was steady.

Small Cap Stock Index (S fund) and Common Stock Index investment funds boasted the largest returns — increases between 17 and 22 percent — in January. The S Fund grew from -10.70 percent in 2018 to 11.64 percent. The C Fund went from -9.30 percent in 2018 to 8.01 percent in January. Despite increases, returns for both the S and C funds over the last 12 months remain negative.

The lowest increase was seen in the International Stock Index Investment Fund (I fund), falling at around 11 percent. Like the above plans, returns over the last 12 months for the I fund still remain negative.

The Government Securities (G fund) and Fixed Income Index (F fund) produced negative returns — but not by much. The G fund fell by 0.03 percent, from 0.26 percent to 0.23 percent. The F fund fell 0.77 percent from 1.84 to 1.07 percent.

All investment fund returns exhibited slight increases since this time last year.

The lifecycle funds increased across the board in January —  almost all more than doubling in returns.

The highest increase came out of the the L 2050 fund at more than 13 percent, going from a -6.45 to 6.67 percent investment return. The L 2040, L 2030 and L 2020 were just one step behind.

The L Income fund had the lowest return — the only lifecycle fund to not double in returns — increasing by 0.52 percent, growing from -1.31 percent to 1.83 percent.

Over the last 12 months, the S fund produced the highest percentage of returns, falling at just above 7 percent. The lowest increase of returns over the last year came from the G-fund — which remained stagnant from October 2018 to December 2018 — growing just 0.03 percent. The lifecycle funds increased over the last year from 0.68 percent (L 2020) at the smallest to 2.28 percent (L 2050).

Any loans taken from the TSP during the partial government shutdown may or may not come out of back pay. Still, TSP is off to a good start for the new year, but impending changes may or may not have reverse affects in the coming months, according to the FRTIB.

Thrift Savings Plan — January 2019 Returns
Fund November Year-to-Date Last 12 Months
G fund 0.23% 0.23% 2.94%
F fund 1.07% 1.07% 2.39%
C fund 8.01% 8.01% -2.34%
S fund 11.64% 11.64% -1.98%
I fund 6.60% 6.60% -12.11
L Income 1.83% 1.83% 1.44%
L 2020 2.53% 2.53% 0.32%
L 2030 4.92% 4.92% -1.89%
L 2040 5.86% 5.86% -2.87%
L 2050 6.67% 6.67% -3.74%