TSP Hardship Withdrawals and Hurricane Harvey

Based on past experience, the TSP may provide aid to federal employees impacted by Hurricane Harvey via hardship in-service withdrawals.

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 johnfgrobe@comcast.net to discuss schedules and costs.

About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a firm that provides pre-retirement training and seminars to a wide variety of federal agencies. FCE’s instructors are all retired federal retirement specialists who educate class participants on the ins and outs of federal retirement and benefits; there is never an attempt to influence participants to invest a certain way, or to purchase any financial products. John and FCE specialize in retirement for special category employees, such as law enforcement officers.