Most TSP funds had negative returns in May

Tuesday - 5/31/2011, 6:49pm EDT

Tom Trabucco, director of external affairs, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

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This story has been updated with returns for the entire month of May. Previously, returns for May 31 were not immediately available.

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

All Thrift Savings Plan funds except for the F and G Funds had negative returns for the month.

"It has been a difficult month for the markets, especially for the stock market, and certainly until today, we were running behind, rivaling the negative returns from last August," said Tom Trabucco, director of external affairs for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which manages your TSP.

However, market returns today had "quite a surge" and final TSP returns for May, to be released Wednesday, will likely improve.

According to the TSP website, the F Fund matches the performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index, a broad index representing the U.S. bond market.

"Because the F Fund returns move up and down with the returns in the bond market, your F Fund investment is subject to market risk. For example, when interest rates rise, bond prices (and thus, the returns of the index and the F Fund) fall. Conversely, in an environment of falling interest rates, bond prices, as well as the index and F Fund returns, rise," according to the website.

That F Fund rule applied in May.

"Interest rates have been declining for much of past month, which is why you have a positive return in the F Fund," Trabucco said.

Thrift Savings Plan May 2011 returns

Fund G Fund F Fund C Fund S Fund I Fund
Month 0.25% 1.31% -1.13% -1.27% -2.90%
YTD 1.22% 3.06% 7.81% 9.76% 6.51%
12 Month 2.66% 5.97% 25.92% 32.93 31.46

L Funds L Income L 2020 L 2030 L 2040 L 2050
Month -0.05% -0.74% -0.97% -1.15% -1.39%
YTD 2.69% 5.17% 6.07% 6.77% NA
12 Month 7.83% 17.62% 21.12% 23.97 NA