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Fund Objective

The L Funds, or "Lifecycle" funds, use professionally determined investment mixes that are tailored to meet investment objectives based on various time horizons. The objective is to strike an optimal balance between the expected risk and return associated with each fund.

Investment Strategy

The L Funds' strategy is to invest in an appropriate mix of the G, F, C, S, and I Funds for a particular time horizon, or target retirement date. The investment mix of each L Fund becomes more conservative as its target date approaches.

The strategy assumes that:

  • The greater the number of years you have until retirement, the more willing and able you are to tolerate risk (fluctuation) in your TSP account value to pursue higher rates of return.
  • For a given risk level and time horizon, there is an optimal mix of the G, F, C, S, and I Funds that provides the highest expected return.

Fund Composition

Each of the L Funds has a target asset allocation. In other words, each is made up of the combination of the five individual TSP funds (G, F, C, S, and I) that maintains an optimal balance of investment risks and rewards for a particular time horizon.

Each quarter, the L Funds' target asset allocations change, moving towards a less risky mix of investments as the target date approaches. So if you are invested in one of the L Funds, you will notice that as you get closer to your target date, your allocation to the riskier TSP funds will get smaller while your allocation to the more conservative G Fund gets larger.

The rate of change in the target asset allocation is small when the L Fund target dates are in the distant future. The rate increases as the funds approach their target dates. For a visual representation of how the asset allocations change over time, click the individual L Fund tabs at the top of this page.

Fund Operation

When an L Fund has reached its target date, it will be rolled into the L Income Fund.

The L Income Fund:

  • Is the most conservative of the L Funds.
  • Focuses on capital preservation while providing a small exposure to the TSP's riskier assets (C, S, and I Funds) in order to reduce inflation's effect on your purchasing power.
  • Is designed to produce current income for participants who plan to start withdrawing from their TSP accounts in the near future and for those who are already receiving monthly payments from their accounts.
  • Has a set asset allocation that does not change over time.

The progression from a target date L Fund to the L Income Fund is automatic.

New Lifecycle funds will be added for distant target dates as they are needed.

Risks

When you invest in the L Funds:

  • You are subject to the investment risks associated with the G, F, C, S, and I funds.
  • Your account is not guaranteed against loss. The L Funds can have periods of gain and loss, just as the individual TSP funds do.

Rewards

The L Funds simplify fund selection. You choose the fund that is closest to your target date (or, if your target date falls between the target dates that are offered, you can split your account between the two target date funds closest to your time horizon).

When you invest in the L Funds:

  • You can be sure that your TSP account is broadly diversified.
  • You don't have to remember to adjust your investment mix as your target date approaches - it's done for you.

How Can I Use the L Funds in my TSP Account?

Use the L Funds if you are looking for a simple, low maintenance way of investing money in your TSP account. The L Funds make the investing process easy for you because you do not have to figure out how to diversify your account or how and when to rebalance.

The L Funds are designed so that 100% of your TSP account can be invested in the single L Fund that most closely matches your time horizon (or in the two L Funds closest to your time horizon). Any other use of the L Funds may result in a greater amount of risk in your portfolio than is necessary in order to achieve the same expected rate of return.

How to Invest in the L Funds

Determine the date when, after leaving Federal service, you will need the money that is in your TSP account. Then identify the L Fund that matches your target date:

Fund Consider investing in this fund if:
L 2065 You plan to begin withdrawing from your TSP account after 2062 or you were born after 1999.
L 2060 You plan to begin withdrawing from your TSP account between 2058 and 2062 or you were born between 1995 and 1999.
L 2055 You plan to begin withdrawing from your TSP account between 2053 and 2057 or you were born between 1990 and 1994.
L 2050 You plan to begin withdrawing from your TSP account between 2048 and 2052 or you were born between 1985 and 1989.
L 2045 You plan to begin withdrawing from your TSP account between 2043 and 2047 or you were born between 1980 and 1984.
L 2040 You plan to begin withdrawing from your TSP account between 2038 and 2042 or you were born between 1975 and 1979.
L 2035 You plan to begin withdrawing from your TSP account between 2033 and 2037 or you were born between 1970 and 1974.
L 2030 You plan to begin withdrawing from your TSP account between 2028 and 2032 or you were born between 1965 and 1969.
L 2025 You plan to begin withdrawing from your TSP account between 2021 and 2027 or you were born between 1958 and 1964.
L Income You are already withdrawing money from your account or you were born before 1958.

To invest in the L Fund of your choice:

  • Use your TSP account number or User ID and your Web password to access the My Account section of this website. You can also call the ThriftLine.
  • Request a contribution allocation to direct new money coming into your account (from payroll contributions, agency contributions if you are a FERS employee, transfers into the TSP, or loan payments) to be invested in an L Fund. Be aware that a contribution allocation will not change how the money that already exists in your account is distributed.
  • Request an interfund transfer to move money that already exists in your TSP account into one of the L Funds. It is a one-time transaction that affects your existing balance. Interfund transfers have no effect on new money coming into your account.

Need more info?
For more detailed information about the L Funds, see the L Funds Information Sheet.
Automatic Adjustment
The progression from a target date L Fund to the L Income Fund is automatic.

Changing your contributions? Save at least 5% to get your full match.

Don't walk away from free money! If you are a FERS or BRS participant, your agency or service matches your contributions — up to 4% if you contribute 5% each pay period. Furthermore, when you add the Agency/Service Automatic (1%) Contributions to your matching contributions, you'll double your 5% investment instantly.

See how easy it is to complete this form.

Let our online wizard help you with your beneficiary designation. Based on your answers to a series of questions, it will prefill the appropriate sections of your form and help you avoid mistakes that could cause your form to be delayed or rejected.

Are you separated from federal employment?

If you are separated from federal employment, you may change your address online at My Account: Profile Settings. You will need to enter your TSP account number and your web password to make this change. You may also call the ThriftLine to change your address. Active participants must notify your agency or service when you have an address change.

You cannot use this form to change your address. As a current federal employee or service member, you must change your address through your agency or service.

Are you separated from federal employment?

To change your name, you will need to provide documentation to the TSP. See the instructions on the form for documentation requirements.

You cannot use this form to change your name. As a current federal employee or service member, you must change your name through your agency or service.

Thinking of taking a loan? Please watch this first.

  • Log in to My Account and access the online wizard under "TSP Loans" to help you with your loan request.

Automatic Enrollment Refund Request

You must submit this form within 90 days of the date of the first contribution of your automatic enrollment. Has it been less than 90 days since your first contribution?

You are ineligible to receive an automatic enrollment refund. Please call the ThriftLine if you have any questions.

See how easy it is to complete this form.

Let our online wizard help you complete your court order. Based on your answers to a series of questions, it will prefill the appropriate sections of your form and help you avoid mistakes that could cause your form to be delayed or rejected.