TSP funds take much expected downturn in March

Not even the usually steady G fund could evade the global economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic last month, as all Thrift Savings Plan funds showed noticeable decreases in monthly returns.

As Federal News Network reported last week, participants  made more withdrawals in the month of March compared to this time last year and recent months, while inter-fund transfers were also up.

Between Feb. 24 and March 17, participants transferred $21 billion into the government securities investment G fund, which had the smallest month-over-month decline in returns — from 0.13% to 0.11% or -0.02%.

According to numbers released by the TSP on Wednesday, the largest drop from February was in the small capitalization stock index S fund — from -8.01% to -21.40% in March, or a difference of -13.39%. The second-largest decrease in returns was in the international stock index I fund, which fell from -7.74% in February to  -13.87% in March, or a change of -6.13%.

The common stock index investment C fund fell by 4.16%, from -8.24% in February to -12.40% last month, while the fixed income investment F fund dropped by 2.46% from 1.82% in February to -0.64% in March, according to Wednesday’s returns.

Lifecycle funds also took hits in March, the biggest being in the L 2050 which went from -6.39% in February to -11.90% last month — a difference of -5.51%. By comparison, the L Income fund fell by just 1.57% month over month, from -1.52% in February to -3.09% in March.

Meanwhile the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board still intends to add new Lifecycle funds this summer, Federal News Network reported. These funds would be in five-year increments instead of like the existing 10-year funds, and would include the L 2025, L 2035, L 2045, L 2055, L 2060 and L 2065.

Year over year, the G fund had the smallest decline for March TSP returns, -0.12%, while the S fund fell the furthest, -20.37%.

Thrift Savings Plan — March 2020 Returns
Fund March Year-to-Date Last 12 Months
G fund 0.11% 0.40% 1.97%
F fund -0.64% 3.10% 8.84%
C fund -12.40% -19.65% -7.06%
S fund -21.40% -28.14% -20.72%
I fund -13.87% -22.70% -14.01%
L Income -3.09% -4.56% -0.47%
L 2020 -3.52% -5.23% -0.57%
L 2030 -8.72% -13.35% -5.61%
L 2040 -10.42% -15.92% -7.25%
L 2050 -11.90% -18.13% -8.74%