The Federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is an essential component to investment and retirement preparation. In order to better understand the TSP, we will break down the different aspects of investing, followed by updates and news surrounding the TSP.
To start, TSP consists of five different individual investment funds for its participants:
The Government Securities Investment (G) Fund
The G Fund is invested in short-term U.S. Treasury securities. This fund offers the opportunity to earn rates of interest comparable to those of long-term Government securities that have no risk of loss of principal. The U.S Government guarantees payment of principal and interest. The G Fund interest rate paid by securities is calculated monthly, and is based on the market yields of all U.S. Treasury securities with 4 or more years to maturity.
The Fixed Income Index Investment (F) Fund
The F Fund is invested in a bond index fund that tracks the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index. This is a broad index representing the U.S. Government, mortgage-backed, corporate, and foreign government sectors of the U.S. bond market. The F fund offers the opportunity to earn long term rates of return that exceed money market fund rates. This is especially true during periods of declining interest rates.
The Common Stock Index Investment (C) Fund
The C Fund is invested in a stock index fund that tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index. This is a broad market index made up of the stocks of 500 large to medium-sized U.S. companies. It offers you the potential to earn the higher investment returns associated with equity investments.
The Small Capitalization Stock Index (S) Fund
The S Fund is invested in a stock index fund that tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Completion Total Stock Market (TSM) Index. The small and medium-sized U.S. companies in this market index are not included in the S&P 500 Index. The S fund offers the opportunity to possibly earn higher investment returns that are connected with “small cap” investments. The S Fund is more volatile than the C Fund.
International Stock Index Investment (I) Fund
The I Fund is invested in a stock index fund that tracks the MCSI EAFE (Europe, Australasia, Far East) Index. With the I fund made up of primarily large companies in 22 developed countries, this is a broad international market index. It offers the opportunity to gain a global equity exposure in your portfolio, and importantly, invest in international stock markets.
Now that the TSP funds have been briefly described, we will look at recent changes and updates pertaining to them.
The TSP announced that the first quarter 2021 participant statements spanning from January 1st through March 31st, 2021, are currently available online and also in the mail.
TSP participants can find their statements online by going to www.TSP.gov and accessing the “My Account” section.
Additionally, starting in April 2021, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board’s (FRTIB) will begin transferring some of the assets in the F, C, and S Funds from BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A., to State Street Global Advisors Trust Company.
“Having two investment managers allows each to serve as a backup to the other,” the TSP wrote in an announcement last month. “We expect that the transfers will be complete by the end of June 2021.”
The TSP has stated that as the transfers are made, they will update their website (tsp.gov) and educational materials to reflect the addition of the second manager. The transfers will not affect a TSP participants ability to make changes to their TSP account.
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