The amount on investment in the TSP rose by some $178 billion by the end of last month over the end of March 2020, mainly driven by strong stock market performance during that time.
Data released at this week’s monthly meeting of the TSP board show a total $735 billion compared with the March 2020 total of $557 billion—a figure that reflected steep drops in stock markets in that month and the prior month following the outbreak of the pandemic.
Starting in April of last year, though, and since the steep selloff in March the stock-oriented TSP funds have produced very strong gains, with the small company S fund posting just two losing months, and the common stock C fund and the international stock I fund three each. Those gains also lifted the lifecycle L funds, particularly those with a longer time frame that are more heavily weighted toward the stock funds.
The TSP averages a net inflow of about $1 billion a month, with withdrawals nearly offsetting newly invested money and repayment of outstanding loans.
The average account balance for FERS investors—including both active employees and those separated for retirement or other reasons but who have kept their accounts open—was about $169,000 as of the end of March compared with about $133,000 at the end of March 2020. Among CSRS investors, the average rose to about $180,000 from about $145,000.
What it Takes to Be a TSP Millionaire in Today’s Dollars
With a long enough timeline, involving consistent large contributions and decent long-term stock returns during the period, it’s possible to become a millionaire from compounding a middle-class or upper middle-class income, including most jobs in federal service.