Management fees for C, S and I funds


Q. I want to know what percentage I am paying in management fees and how they are being paid for my Thrift Savings Plan. I am invested in the C, S, and I funds. I am worried about fees eating into my profits.

A. The TSP’s expenses have been the lowest you’ll find, anywhere. In fact, they’ve been so low in recent years that they’re almost zero. In 2012, the TSP’s expense ratio was 0.027 percent (or, a multiplier of 0.00027). So, for every $1,000 you had invested during 2012, you lost 27 cents to expenses for the year. These expenses are applied against the TSP funds’ returns, day by day. A report covering the TSP’s expense ration is available at


About Author

Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at


  1. But the c s and i funds pay zero on dividends. That is a rip off since if we were to invest directly in spy qqq dia and others we would receive regular cash added to the net value of fund.

  2. To put this into context, the average expense ratio for an index mutual fund is .85%, or $8.5 for every $1000 you have in the fund. So if you have $150k in the TSP, the annual expenses are just $40.50 per year. The industry average fees would cost $1275 per year. Added up over the course of a career, this is a HUGE benefit for us.

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