Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) L Funds (Lifecycle Funds)
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) L Funds, or ‘Lifecycle funds,’ use a mix of other TSP funds to create an investment strategy based on a specific time horizon and expected withdrawal start date. These ‘time horizon’ targeted funds become more conservative as the Target Date grows near. The L Funds therefore attempt to achieve a balance between the expected risk and reward associated with each fund as the participant’s retirement date grows near.
The L Funds’ will invest in a mix of the G, F, C, S, and I Funds based on a particular target retirement date. The investment mix of each L Fund grows more conservative as the target date approaches and therefore the presumed participant nears retirement.
The L Fund Strategies Assume That;
· The closer you are to retirement the less risk (volatility) you should have in your investment portfolio. Therefore your TSP account has higher levels of risk, (and presumably higher potential returns) the younger you are. But as you age, the L Funds will grow more conservative.
· For a given time horizon, there is a suitable mix of the G, F, C, S, and I Funds (more information at TSP.gov) that provides the appropriate rate of return.
TSP L Fund Composition:
Each L Fund has a target mix or combination of the five individual TSP funds (G, F, C, S, and I). The target-mix attempts to balance investment risks and rewards based on the participants time horizon.
Every quarter, the L Funds’ change the mix and composition of the Individual Funds used, moving from more ambitious to less risky investments as the target date grows near. Therefore the exposure to riskier TSP funds will grow smaller as time goes on and the percentage of the your assets invested in the more conservative G Fund will get larger as you near retirement. Upon reaching the Target Date an L Fund is rolled into the L Income Fund.
The TSP L Income Fund:
• Is the most conservative L Fund available,
• Maintains a small exposure to riskier TSP funds such as (C, S, and I funds) in an attempt to maintain purchasing power and ward off the potential affects of inflation,
• Focuses on capital preservation.
• Is designed to produce current income and has a set asset allocation that does not change over time.
*New Lifecycle funds are added as they become necessary.
TSP L Fund Risks:
When you invest in the L Funds;
Your account is not guaranteed against loss. You are subject to the same investment risks associated with the G, F, C, S, and I funds. (more information available at www.TSP.gov)
TSP L Fund Rewards:
The L Funds can simplify your investment selection. You can choose the fund that is closest to your target date and your allocation will automatically grow more conservative as you age. L Funds are;
• Broadly diversified.
• Automatically adjusted.
How Can I Use The L Funds In My TSP Account?
L Funds can be used as a low maintenance investment strategy for your TSP account. The L Funds can be used where 100% of your TSP account is invested in the single L Fund that most closely matches your time horizon.
How To Invest In The TSP L Funds?
Determine the date when you will most likely begin making distributions from your TSP account (for many people this would be at or just after retirement). Identify the L Fund that most closely matches your target date and place your investments there.
To invest in the L Fund of your choice: Use your TSP.gov Login to access your account and make your fund selections. Your TSP account number (User ID and your TSP Personal Identification Number (PIN) will be necessary to access the TSP website at www.tsp.gov . You may choose to;
• Request all new contributions either from payroll, agency contributions, loan repayments or rollovers be invested in an L Fund of your choice.
• If you would like your current TSP balance to be moved to the L Fund you much request an interfund transfer.