Lifecycle Funds Still On Fire at TSP

November 30, 2005 ( - The lifecycle funds added to the federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) four months ago are proving even more popular than officials had predicted.

About 200,000 government employees, or 5.5% of TSP participants, have put $6.8 billion into the L Funds, which represents about 4% of the TSP’s assets, the officials said, according to a Washington Post report. Government employees continue to move all or some of their retirement savings into the L Funds at a steady rate, and TSP officials noted that the funds picked up new investors at a rate of 10,000 a week at the start of November (See Special Report: LIFESTYLE FUNDS: “Letter” Perfect ).

The percentages may seem small, but Gary Amelio, executive director of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, said consultants had estimated that the L Funds would not achieve a 5% participation rate until after a year of operation.

The most popular L Funds by retirement group are:

  • The 2010 Fund, attracting employees in the old Civil Service Retirement System, probably the longest-serving government workers.
  • The 2020 Fund, drawing participants covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System, created in the mid-1980s.
  • The 2030 Fund, attracting the military and other uniformed services, who were allowed into the TSP in 2002.

Since their start August 1 and extending through Monday, the five L Funds have provided returns of 1.6% to 2.9%.

Pamela-Jeanne Moran, director of TSP benefit services, told the board that vendors have finished mailing DVDs that explain the L Funds to civil service participants and that distribution of DVDs to members of the armed forces would conclude within weeks.