TSP Funds

There are currently 15 investment funds in the Thrift Savings Plan. Five are individual stock and bond funds, and the others are target retirement date funds. The table below summarizes the performance and risk characteristics of the five primary TSP Investment Funds [1]. Click on any link in the table header to see performance charts and other details for that fund.

TSP Investment Funds
8/31/1990 - 11/20/2020
TSP
G Fund
TSP
F Fund
TSP
C Fund
TSP
S Fund
TSP
I Fund
Last Price (11/20/2020)16.492621.156052.867966.987333.4891
Change (1-Day)0.00%0.16%-0.68%0.10%0.43%
YTD Return0.87%7.30%11.87%19.03%2.36%
1-Year Return1.08%7.23%16.51%23.47%6.01%
3-Year Return2.09%5.45%13.40%12.42%3.88%
5-Year Return2.08%4.51%13.47%13.09%6.21%
10-Year Return2.06%3.95%13.83%12.98%5.50%
Annual Return Since 8/31/19904.4%6.1%10.6%11.2%5.7%
Annualized Standard Deviation [2]0.3%3.8%18.3%20.4%17.8%
Maximum Drawdown [3]--6.6%-55.2%-57.4%-60.9%
Sharpe Ratio [4]-0.450.410.420.16
Value of $1,000 invested on 8/31/1990$3,668$6,006$20,759$25,041$5,406

The Thrift Savings Plan also offers 10 Lifecycle Funds. The table below shows the historical performance of the original (“Classic”) Lifecycle Funds, which became available for investment in August 2005: [5]

“Classic” TSP Lifecycle Funds
8/1/2005 - 11/20/2020
TSP
L Income
Fund
TSP
L 2030
Fund
TSP
L 2040
Fund
TSP
L 2050
Fund
Last Price (11/20/2020)21.953737.327941.555424.5011
Change (1-Day)-0.03%-0.10%-0.11%-0.13%
YTD Return3.62%7.10%8.13%8.98%
1-Year Return4.63%9.66%11.18%12.45%
3-Year Return4.26%7.48%8.39%9.14%
5-Year Return4.26%7.99%8.99%9.84%
10-Year Return4.22%8.28%9.24%-
Annual Return Since 8/1/20054.3%6.8%7.4%9.6%
Annualized Standard Deviation 4.0%13.5%15.6%14.5%
Maximum Drawdown -11.0%-43.3%-48.4%-29.2%
Sharpe Ratio 0.400.360.360.57
Value of $1,000 invested on 8/1/2005$1,891$2,737$2,962$2,450

The table below shows the performance of the new Lifecycle Funds, which became available in July 2020:

New TSP Lifecycle Funds
7/1/2020 - 11/20/2020
TSP
L 2025
Fund
TSP
L 2035
Fund
TSP
L 2045
Fund
TSP
L 2055
Fund
TSP
L 2060
Fund
TSP
L 2065
Fund
Last Price (11/20/2020)10.818311.095911.284211.658911.658911.6591
Change (1-Day)-0.08%-0.11%-0.12%-0.16%-0.17%-0.17%
YTD Return0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Maximum Drawdown -3.9%-5.1%-5.9%-7.5%-7.5%-7.5%
Value of $1,000 invested on 7/1/2020$1,082$1,110$1,128$1,166$1,166$1,166

Individual TSP Funds

  • The TSP G Fund (Government Securities Investment Fund) is invested in short-term U.S. Treasury securities.
  • The TSP F Fund (Fixed Income Index Investment Fund) is invested in U.S. investment-grade bonds, as tracked by the Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index.
  • The TSP C Fund (Common Stock Index Investment Fund) is invested in large capitalization U.S. stocks. It tracks the Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) Stock Index.
  • The TSP S Fund (Small Capitalization Stock Index Fund) is invested in the stocks of small and medium-sized U.S. companies. It tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Completion Total Stock Market Index.
  • The TSP I Fund (International Stock Index Investment Fund) is invested in international stocks from 21 developed countries. It tracks the Morgan Stanley Capital International EAFE (Europe, Australasia, Far East) Index.

TSP Lifecycle Funds

The TSP Lifecycle Funds are target retirement date funds, invested in a professionally designed mix of the five individual TSP funds (G, F, C, S, and I Fund). TSP investors choose a fund based on when they expect to retire and start making withdrawals:

  • The TSP L Income Fund is for participants who are already withdrawing their accounts in monthly payments, or who need their money in the near future.
  • The TSP L 2025 Fund is for participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2021 through 2027.
  • The TSP L 2030 Fund is for participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2028 through 2032.
  • The TSP L 2035 Fund is for participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2033 through 2037.
  • The TSP L 2040 Fund is for participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2038 through 2042.
  • The TSP L 2045 Fund is for participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2043 through 2047.
  • The TSP L 2050 Fund is for participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2048 through 2052.
  • The TSP L 2055 Fund is for participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2053 through 2057.
  • The TSP L 2060 Fund is for participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2058 through 2062.
  • The TSP L 2065 Fund is for participants who will begin to withdraw their money in 2062 or later.

Notes

  1. The first TSP fund became available to investors in April 1987, and others followed in 1988 and 2001. TSP.gov has published monthly fund returns since inception, and daily fund price history since 2003. To allow for a longer performance comparison, we extended the available TSP fund price history for the C, G, F, I, and S funds with their underlying index data. For example, we extended the TSP C Fund with the S&P 500 Total Return index. The same was done for the other TSP funds and their underlying index. The indexes we use do not account for fund expenses, so earlier returns are slightly higher. However, in practice the difference is not significant: the TSP funds have extremely low expense ratios (0.027% per year as of this writing).
  2. Standard deviation, also known as historical volatility, is used by investors as a gauge for the amount of expected volatility. Volatile TSP funds like the C, S, and I fund have a high standard deviation, while the deviation of the G and F funds is lower. When comparing investments, a low standard deviation is preferable.
  3. Drawdown: the peak-to-trough decline in the TSP fund value, measured as a percentage between the peak and the trough. Perhaps best expressed in the historical drawdown charts for each fund, which show the magnitude and duration of each periodic decline. A good investment strategy aims to minimize drawdowns.
  4. The Sharpe Ratio measures risk-adjusted performance. It's calculated by subtracting the risk-free interest rate from the rate of return for a specific fund, and dividing the result by the standard deviation of the fund returns. Since we only track TSP funds on this website, we use the G fund returns as our risk-free investment. When comparing investments, a high Sharpe Ratio is preferable.
  5. There are 10 active TSP Lifecycle Funds, and two retired funds. The L 2010 Fund was retired in December 2010. The TSP L 2020 Fund was retired in June 2020. When L Funds are retired, their assets are transferred into the L Income Fund.

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