TSP Hardship Withdrawals and Hurricane Harvey

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By on August 31, 2017 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments
Texas Guardsmen help a man and his dog off of a boat that they helped transport to safety from flood waters caused by Hurricane Harvey

Texas Guardsmen from the 386th Engineer Battalion, first responders from Texas Task Force One and the Cypress Creek Fire Department move residents from severely flooded neighborhoods to safety days after Hurricane Harvey in Cypress Creek, Texas, Aug. 28, 2017. The team rescued more than 1,000 people and hundreds of dogs and cats, bringing them to dry ground. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Martha Nigrelle

Based on past experience, those who have been affected by Tropical Storm Harvey can likely expect some help from the Thrift Savings Plan. Though they have not yet announced it, it is probable that the Thrift Board will loosen up the rules on financial hardship in-service withdrawals for those who meet one of the following two requirements:

  • First, their primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey.
  • Second, their hardship withdrawal will be used to assist an eligible family member who lives or works in a covered disaster area and who has incurred a loss as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey.

Expect the TSP to treat any Harvey related financial hardship in-service withdrawal request as a qualifying hardship and will also waive the rule that prohibits employee contributions for six months after taking a hardship withdrawal.

The Thrift Board has made these changes for other natural disasters, most recently for Hurricane Matthew.

If an official announcement is made, look for it on FedSmith.


John was right! The TSP announced on September 1 that it is relaxing hardship withdrawal rules to provide assistance to victims.

Agencies can request to have John Grobe, or another of Federal Career Experts' qualified instructors, deliver a retirement or transition seminar to their employees. FCE instructors are not financial advisers and will not sell or recommend financial products to class participants. Agency Benefits Officers can contact John Grobe at [email protected] to discuss schedules and costs.

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About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a consulting firm that specializes in federal retirement and career transition issues. He is also affiliated with TSP Safety Net. John retired from federal service after 25 years of progressively more responsible human resources positions. He is the author of Understanding the Federal Retirement Systems and Career Transition: A Guide for Federal Employees, both published by the Federal Management Institute. Federal Career Experts provides pre-retirement seminars for a wide variety of federal agencies.