TSP ends 2013 with nearly across-the-board gains

Friday - 1/3/2014, 10:08am EST

Nearly all the funds in the Thrift Savings Plan finished December in positive territory, helping fuel largely across-the-board gains for the year, according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

The C and S Funds posted the largest gains of 2013. The C Fund, tracked to the stock performance of companies in the S&P 500, was up 2.54 percent for the month of December and up more than 32 percent for the year. The S Fund, an index of smaller companies not included in the S&P 500 was up 2.94 percent for the month and more than 38 percent for the year.

The I Fund, tracked to the performance of an index of international stocks, ended the year with a gain of 22.13 percent.

(See all funds' performance below)

For the second year in a row the stock funds posted large, double-digit gains for the year. In fact, all three funds bettered their 2012 performance, with the C and the S Funds, in particular, more than doubling their 2012 gains.

The G Fund, backed by government securities, held steady at 0.19 percent for the month of December and inched up 1.89 percent for the year.

F Fund ends 2013 in the red

The F Fund, tracked to the performance of the U.S. bond market, including government, corporate and mortgage-backed bonds, is the only fund to end the year in the red. Its performance in December — down 0.56 percent — marked the sixth month of the year when the fund posted in negative territory. The fund is down 1.68 percent for the year.

The Lifecycle Funds — a mix of investments from the five regular funds that automatically shifts toward lower-risk funds — all posted gains for the month of December and finished the year with a strong showing.

The L Income option, a lower-risk option designed for TSP participants who are currently drawing on funds, finished the year with gains of 6.97 percent. The L 2020 was up more than 16 percent and the L 2050 up more than 26 percent for the year.

The TSP Board is seeking legislation that would automatically enroll new hires in an age-appropriate L Fund. Currently, new hires are automatically funneled into the G Fund as their default investing option. But the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is concerned that too many newly hired employees, ostensibly with long careers ahead of them, are "lingering" in the G Fund instead of branching out to the stock funds.

Thrift Savings Plan December 2013 returns

Fund December Year-to-Date Last 12 Months
G Fund 0.19% 1.89% 1.89%
F Fund -0.56% -1.68% -1.68%
C Fund 2.54% 32.45% 32.45%
S Fund 2.94% 38.35% 38.35%
I Fund 1.51% 22.13% 22.13%
L Income 0.58% 6.97% 6.97%
L 2020 1.25% 16.03% 16.03%
L 2030 1.56% 20.16% 20.16%
L 2040 1.77% 23.23% 23.23%
L 2050 1.98% 26.20% 26.20%

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