August 1, 2018

What would your TSP account be worth if you had invested over the past 30 years?

The charts below represent the returns of each fund based on monthly investments of the maximum yearly TSP deferral limits*, from the date of each fund’s inception to the end of June 2018. Figures are approximate and will differ depending on actual investment dates and actual amounts invested. Remember: past fund performance does not predict future returns, but the below is a good illustration of what investors can do when investing through thick and thin over the long-term!


Returns on the G Fund, 1988-2018 Investing the maximum deferral limit on a monthly basis from 1988 through the end of June 2018 (approximately $388,346), the G Fund would be worth $657,614.


Returns on the F Fund, 1988-2018 Investing the maximum deferral limit on a monthly basis from 1988 through the end of June 2018 (approximately $388,346), the F Fund would be worth $797,827.


Returns on the C Fund, 1988-2018 Investing the maximum deferral limit on a monthly basis from 1988 through the end of June 2018 (approximately $388,346), the C Fund would be worth $1,688,976.



The S and I Funds were inaugurated in 2001, thus the following charts are based on returns from 2001 to June 2018:

Returns on the S Fund, 2001-2018 Investing the maximum deferral limit on a monthly basis from 2001 through the end of June 2018 (approximately $271,250), the S Fund would be worth $734,887.


Returns on the I Fund, 2001-2018 Investing the maximum deferral limit on a monthly basis from 2001 through the end of June 2018 (approximately $271,250), the I Fund would be worth $446,346.


For further return information based on an average salary, see this post. For information on returns over a 40-year period, see “What Does $1,000 a Year Matter?”.


*The deferral amounts used in the examples above can be reached either as a combination of individual and matching contributions (for civilian participants), or solely from individual contributions (for uniformed service members who do not receive a government match). Thus a civilian government worker making $60,000 would reach the $17,500 deferral rate for 2013 used in the examples above by contributing $14,500 and receiving $3,000 in 5% government matching contributions, for $17,500 in total contributions for the year. Civilian government workers who receive matching contributions can defer up to the maximum deferral rate — $17,500 in 2013, plus catch-up deferrals for those over 50 — and still receive a match of 5% of their regular salary. Thus the civilian worker in the previous example could contribute the full $17,500 from his or her salary to reach a combined total of $20,500 in contributions for the year. The examples above use the maximum yearly deferral rates for ease of calculation.