Update on TSP website issues; All TSP funds have a negative return with a down 30%+

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TSP Website Issues Update

As has been widely reported, there were many issues when the new website for TSP participants was introduced in June.

August was the third month that participants used the new Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) system. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) provided an update on the operation of the system at its monthly meeting on September 27, 2022.

Here’s a quick summary of how the new system has progressed recently.

  • Over 700,000 participants created their new online account in August and over 2.3 million participants have now logged in online.
  • The number of attendees connecting through the website and mobile app continues to grow, with most attendees connecting through the web.
  • Over 115,000 people downloaded the TSP mobile app in August. The number of accounts funded through the mutual fund window increased by 36%, from 1,398 to 1,901.
  • There is an increase in loan withdrawal activity.

TSP Fact Check

As part of the update to the TSP system, Tee Ramos of the TSP Participant Services Office hosted an information session which he titled “TSP Fact Checking”. He noted that over the past few months a number of issues have been reported. Here is a summary of his presentation listing comments or complaints and the current status of the issues.

You cannot pass when calling the TSP!

  • Calls are now answered within 30 seconds on average.

My account was not right after the failure!

  • The TSP has received more than a dozen inquiries from participants regarding the accuracy and allocation of funds.
  • All The reported case of an inaccurately converted balance was found to be unfounded.

My beneficiaries were lost after the outage!

  • 4.8 million accounts take advantage of “order of preference” (no registered beneficiaries)
  • 1.4 million accounts had beneficiary information on file and nothing were lost
  • 1.24 million have been electronically converted to the new system
  • 157,000 beneficiary accounts were not converted electronically (TSP-3 forms remain on file)

You cannot configure your account!

  • 2.5 million attendees successfully set up their new My Account login
  • 92% of all attempts were completed online
  • TSP encourages everyone with an account to set up their new connection
Bar graph showing the number of TSP account registrations through the new TSP website from August 7 to September 4

The mutual fund window is a failure because no one is using it!

  • The FRTIB projected a utilization rate of 1-2% of TSP participants over the next few years; the MFW offers options. It is not useful for all participants.

All TSP funds have negative returns since the beginning of the year (except fund G)

Any doubts investors may have about the existence of a bear market in equities now know the answer.

Until September 26, 2022, all TSP funds have a negative return for the year with the exception of fund G which has a return of 1.91% so far in 2022. All TSP base funds are in decline so far in September and for all of 2022.

The TSP fund with the biggest loss is the S fund, down 30.24%. Fund C is down 22.42% and Fund I down 27.39%. Here’s how all TSP funds are doing in September and for the year to date:

Funds Month to date Year to date
Fund G 0.24% 1.91%
Fund F -4.58% -14.54%
Fund C -7.48% -22.42%
Fund S -10.41% -30.24%
I finance -9.57% -27.39%
L Income -2.18% -5.85%
L 2025 -3.69% -10.93%
L 2030 -5.41% -15.85%
L2035 -5.97% -17.50%
L 2040 -6.49% -19.06%
L 2045 -6.96% -20.44%
L 2050 -7.39% -21.69%
L2055 -8.57% -25.03%
L2060 -8.57% -25.04%
L2065 -8.57% -25.05%
Source: TSPDataCenter.com

Average decline in TSP balance for TSP investors

With the sharp drop in stock prices this year, it’s no surprise that the average TSP account balance has fallen. For those in the FERS system, their average TSP balance has decreased by 12.44% since the end of December. For those under CSRS, their average TSP balance is down more than 9.9%.

This graph shows the average TSP balance and the average Roth balance at the end of December 2021 compared to August 31, 2022.

Category Speakers
December 2021
Attendees August 2022 December TSP Sale August PST Balance December Roth Sale Roth August Sale
FERS Investors 3,766,146 3,840,668 $181,279 $158,726 $22,942 $21,191
CSRS Investors 274,520 268,791 $195,424 $175,990 $31,667 $29,120

Additional statistics on the performance of the TSP at the end of August 2022 are provided in this short slideshow.

FedSmith will provide readers with a monthly and annual TSP performance update for all TSP funds on October 1, 2022.

© 2022 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without the express written consent of Ralph R. Smith.

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