How Fares the World's Largest 401(k) Plan?
Quite well, thanks for asking.
A Giant Among Us
Technically, the Federal Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP, isn’t a 401(k) plan, as it is not organized under Section 401(k) of the IRS tax code. Effectively, though, TSP walks like a 401(k), talks like a 401(k), and quacks like a 401(k), which makes it in my book the world's largest such plan, at $800 billion. (In comparison, the biggest actual 401(k) plan, Boeing’s, possessed but $50 billion at last report.)
One would expect such a gargantuan plan, containing the retirement assets for 6 million federal employees, to be run cautiously. Let smaller organizations attempt to lead the charts. The important thing for TSP is to avoid conspicuous failure. No matter how the markets behave, TSP should always perform at least respectably. The 800-pound gorilla cannot be a turkey.