Temporarily Relaxing TSP Hardship Withdrawal Rules

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By on December 5, 2018 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments
Two members of a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue team walk through heavily damaged neighborhoods in Florida after Hurricane Michael

Two members of a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue team walk through heavily damaged neighborhoods in Florida after Hurricane Michael Photo by: FEMA/FEMA US&R

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) has made a temporary change to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) hardship withdrawal rules. The purpose is to help victims of Hurricanes Michael and Florence pursuant to the guidance issued by the Internal Revenue Service on November 29.

March 15, 2019 Deadline

The TSP will now treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request (Form TSP-76) received until March 5, 2019 as qualifying for a hardship withdrawal. For this to occur, the participant writes “Hurricane Michael” or “Hurricane Florence” at the top of the form and check the block on the form for personal casualty on page 2, Item 18 of the form.

The distributions must occur before March 15, 2019 to qualify for this treatment.

Getting a Copy of Form TSP-76

TSP participants should call the Thriftline at 1-877-968-3778 to request a copy of Form TSP-76.

When a participant writes “Hurricane Michael” or “Hurricane Florence” at the top of the form and checks the “personal casualty” box on the TSP-76, the TSP will waive the rule that prohibits a participant from making employee contributions for 6 months after taking a hardship withdrawal. This will allow an employee to continue to make contributions to the TSP and receive the employer match (if eligible). This temporary change will not be effective retroactively.

© 2018 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

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About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47

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