TSP rules for hardship withdrawal relaxed for employees affected by recent natural disasters

By DLA Human Resources

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The Thrift Savings Plan has made a temporary change to allow participants affected by Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma to make hardship withdrawals under certain circumstances.

The temporary rule change will treat any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request as a qualifying hardship and will waive the rule prohibiting employee contributions for six months after taking a hardship withdrawal provided one of the following conditions applies:

The applicant’s primary residence or place of employment is located in a covered disaster area and has incurred a loss as a result of Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma.

The 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 Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma.

Covered disaster areas for each event are defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Applicants must also meet all the following requirements:

  • Be actively employed as a federal civilian or a member of the uniformed services.
  • Complete Form TSP-76, Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request.
  • Write “Hurricane Harvey” or “Hurricane Irma” at the top of page 1 above the name of the form.
  • Check the “Personal Casualty Loss” box on page 2, Item 18 of your request form, as the reason for requesting financial hardship.

Instructions for submitting the form to TSP via mail or fax are included on the form. Requests pertaining to Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma must be received by the TSP by Jan. 24, 2018, and distribution must occur before Jan. 31, 2018. Any Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal Request forms received after Jan. 24, 2018, will be processed as a standard hardship withdrawal, and TSP contributions will automatically stop for six months.

Employees wishing to stop TSP contributions should complete Form TSP-1, (Form TSP-U-1 for uniformed services) or use your agency or service’s automated system.

This rule change is not retroactive and all other Form TSP-76 rules apply. Participants may only receive one hardship withdrawal under this change. Plan participants with questions about this change can call the toll-free ThriftLine at 1-877-968-3778. Outside the U.S. and Canada, please call 404-233-4400 (not toll free). Full information is also available on the TSP website.