The average account balance for FERS investors fell during 2022 to about $175,000 from $181,000 and the average for CSRS investors to $174,000 from $195,000, according to data presented at the monthly meeting of the TSP governing board this week.
As of year-end 2022, the TSP held $726 billion in investments compared with nearly $812 billion at year-end 2021. That was despite growth in the number of account holders from 6.5 million to 6.7 million and a net inflow of about $1 billion a month in new investments and loan repayments over withdrawals and new loans.
The losses were largely attributable to the stock-based TSP funds, which turned in their worst performance in more than a decade—the small company stock S fund down 26.3 percent, the large company stock C fund down 18.1 percent and the international stock I fund down 13.9 percent. The bond F fund, which often acts as a stabilizer in poor years for stocks, also suffered a notable drop, of 12.8 percent.
That left the government securities G fund, which by definition cannot suffer investment losses, as the year’s only gainer—up 3 percent—as the losses in the other funds also dragged the lifecycle L funds into negative territory, ranging from -2.7 to -17.6 percent.
Ongoing personal investments and government contributions somewhat offset investment losses for FERS account holders overall—more than two-thirds of them are still employed. The large majority of CSRS account holders are retired but they get no government contributions even while employed.
Due to a combination of investment losses and some shifting of money to the G fund, the share of investments in the three stock-based funds—including their portions of the L funds—fell from 63 to 55 percent over the year.
Separately, the TSP reported that just under 77,000 investors had $1 million or more in their accounts as of year-end 2022—down by more than 40 percent during the year although above the low point for the year of about 66,500 at the end of September.
The number of investors with accounts worth $750,000-$1 million fell by nearly a fifth in 2022 to about 88,000, while the number with accounts worth $500,000-$750,000 fell by about a tenth to about 198,000.
The largest TSP account as of year-end 2022 was $6.85 million; the largest account as of year-end 2021—presumably, but not necessarily, the same person—had been just under $11 million.