The TSP Funds


There are five investment options that are available to the millions of federal employees:

Government Securities Investments. The "G" Fund is invested in very short-term U.S. Treasury securities (bonds) guaranteed by the federal government. These are unique government securities, backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government, available only through the G Fund. This is equivalent to a high-yield stable value fund, so there is no possibility of a loss of principal, and there is no risk of loss. As set forth by law, the interest paid by this fund is equal to the average rate of return on outstanding Treasury securities with four or more years to maturity. There is no ticker symbol for the G Fund.

Fixed Income Index Investments. The "F" Fund is invested in high quality securities (Barclay's US Debt Index Fund), which track the Lehman Brothers U.S. Aggregate (LBA) bond index. This index represents a diversified group of U.S. government, corporate and mortgage-related securities. It will also perform similarly to the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (ticker symbol: VBMFX). For tracking purposes, one can either use the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (ticker symbol: VBMFX) or the IShares Lehman Bond Index (ticker symbol: AGG). Through the G and F Funds, TSP participants with low risk tolerance can avoid the stock market entirely.

Common Stock Index Investments. The "C" fund (think "C" for common stocks) is invested in a portfolio of stocks (Barclay's Equity Index Fund) which track the stock market as a whole by replicating the performance of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Meaning, this fund invests in very-large-cap U.S. stocks. It will behave similarly to S&P 500 Index funds such as Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX). For tracking purposes, we will use the S&P 500 Large Cap Index (ticker symbol: $SPX).

Small Capitalization Stock Index Investments. The "S" Fund (think "S" for small stocks) is invested in a portfolio of stocks (Barclay's Extended Market Index) that replicates the performance of the Wilshire 4500 Index. These are the largest U.S. stocks and it does not include stocks of the S&P 500 Index. Meaning, it tracks the performance of the non-S&P 500 stocks in the U.S. market. The C and S Funds combined cover almost the entire U.S. stock market. This fund will perform similarly to the Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX). For tracking purposes, we will use the Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Completion Index (ticker symbol: $EMW or $DWCPF).

International Stock Index Investments. The "I" Fund (think "I" for international stocks) is invested in a portfolio of stocks (Barclay's EAFE Index Fund) designed to track the performance of an index that represents the international equity markets. The board chose to mirror the Morgan Stanley EAFE Index, which tracks the large companies in 21 countries in Europe, Australia and the Far East. For tracking purposes, we will use the IShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (ticker symbol: EFA).


Four of these, managed by Barclays Global Investors, are trust funds open only to tax-exempt employee benefit plans. These funds are not mutual funds and are not open to individual investors. As such, there are no tickers for the funds reported in the financial press.


Interfund Transfer Limits

You can make an IFT at any time, but there are some important limitations:

-- The first two IFTs of any calendar month may redistribute money in your account among any or all of the TSP funds, including moving your entire balance into the Government Securities Investment (G) Fund.

-- Subsequent IFTs in the same calendar month can only move money into the Government Securities Investment (G) Fund.

If you have both a civilian and a uniformed services account, these rules apply to each account separately.

Your IFT counts in the calendar month we process it, not in the month you submit it.



Ticker Symbols (use StockCharts.com):

Fund Ticker Symbol
G none
F AGG
C $SPX
S $DWCPF
I EFA

Intraday Tracking Purposes:

SPY (C Fund) (delayed)

(Stockcharts.com Real-time)
DWCPF (S Fund) (delayed)

(Stockcharts.com Real-time)
EFA (I Fund) (delayed)

(Stockcharts.com Real-time)
AGG (F Fund) (delayed)

(Stockcharts.com Real-time)


History of the Lifecycle Funds:

Each of the ten L Funds is a diversified mix of the five core funds (G, F, C, S, and I). They were designed to let you invest your entire portfolio in a single L Fund and get the best expected return for the amount of expected risk that is appropriate for you.

Every quarter (three months), the target allocations of all the L Funds except L Income are automatically adjusted, gradually shifting them from higher risk and reward to lower risk and reward as they get closer to their target dates. When an L Fund reaches its target date, it goes out of existence and any money in it becomes part of the L Income Fund, which generally keeps the same target allocation. For example, in 2025, the L 2025 Fund will be rolled into the L Income Fund.

One of the important things about the L Funds is that they stick to their target allocations for a full quarter regardless of what the markets do. Every trading day, some of the core funds in an L Fund will do better than others. At the end of the day, the core funds that did better will make up a higher percentage of the L Fund than the ones that did less well. To maintain each L Fund's target allocation, we rebalance it at the end of every trading day. We do this by buying and selling the core funds that make up the L Fund so that the percentages go back to what they were at the beginning of the day. In effect we're buying low and selling high at the end of every trading day.

L_IncomeFor participants who are currently withdrawing their TSP accounts in monthly payments or who plan to begin withdrawing before 2020.
L2025For participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2021 through 2027.
L2030For participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2028 through 2032.
L2035For participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2033 through 2037.
L2040For participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2038 through 2042.
L2045For participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2043 through 2047.
L2050For participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2048 through 2052.
L2055For participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2053 through 2057.
L2060For participants who will withdraw their money beginning 2058 through 2062.
L2065For participants who will begin to withdraw their money in 2062 or later.