May 7, 2019

Thrift Savings Fund totals have grown spectacularly over the past decade.

The TSP total fund holdings first surpassed $300,000,000,000 - $300 billion - in value in 2012. That was a spectacular feat, coming on the heels of the major downturn in markets in 2008 and 2009.

Since then, the total fund value has continued to increase. By the end of 2016, it was a hair below $500 billion, with a total value of $4.95 billion. It surpassed the $500 billion mark in 2017, and it reached $535,870,000,000 by the end of 2018. (The total value dropped in December 2018 - it had reached $561.39 billion in November.)

In case you’re curious, according to TSP administrators the fund’s total value was over $572 billion at the end of February, the last month figures were available.

Here are the total TSP fund values since 2012:

Also of note, the TSP Roth account balances have grown significantly since that option was introduced in 2012. It grew from $0 value in March that year to $12,064,000,000 at the end of 2018. (It’s worth $13.62 billion as of the end of February.)

Here are the year-end total fund holdings from 2007 to 2017. There was a noticeable change in stock fund holdings - particularly the C Fund - compared to the G Fund in 2008-2009. The I Fund also dropped as a percentage of total holdings, that accompanied a slightly smaller drop in S Fund holdings. The significant increase in G Fund holdings compared to only a very slight increase in the F Fund holdings suggests that participants actively sold their stock funds and put the remainder in the G Fund. Had the change in holdings been due to passive market activity (ie, without TSP participants either buying or selling as the market declined), there would have been a more signficant increase in the F Fund as its value rose during this time. The funds had essentially recovered to pre-crash holding levels by the end of 2017, with the exception of the F and I Funds; L Funds maintained a steady march upward, to around 20% of total holdings by this time. (Since 2017, FRTIB figures no longer break out total percentage holdings by fund):

And here are the percentages of total holdings broken out by the five TSP (G, F, C, S, and I) funds and the L Funds, according to the latest-available figures (2017).

TSP Fund Balances, 2017

Related topics: g-fund f-fund c-fund i-fund s-fund investing-styles military-investing