Browsing: furloughs

TSP loans and furlough

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Q. I have seen quite a few questions (and answers) about how to request that Thrift Savings Plan loan payments be suspended during the government shutdown, but no detailed information about exactly how to continue to make payments should one want to do that. When during the regular pay cycle should one send in a payment check with the appropriate form? When we go back to work, and if back pay is given, will the loan payments for the entire period of furlough, or perhaps the last pay period only, be taken out? How long of a period of nonpayment may…

IRA distribution

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Q. As a current furloughed government employee, can I withdraw money from my IRA and not be taxed the additional 10 percent under the exception: being unemployed and paying for health insurance premiums? A. From IRS Publication 590: Even if you are under age 59½, you may not have to pay the 10 percent additional tax on distributions during the year that are not more than the amount you paid during the year for medical insurance for yourself, your spouse and your dependents. You will not have to pay the tax on these amounts if all of the following conditions…

Furlough and cashing IRA without penalty

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Q. My husband happens to be one of the 800,000 who got furloughed. I have an IRA of $3,400. Would I be able to cash that in without a penalty to get us by for, say, a month or so, depending on how long the furlough lasts? A. There is no exception to the early withdrawal penalty for a government furlough. You will be subject to the penalty unless you are age 59½ or meet one of the other exceptions to the penalty described in Internal Revenue Service Publication 590.

TSP loan and furlough length

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Q. I want to take a loan from my Thrift Savings Plan account to cover my bills during the shutdown.  According to the TSP loan booklet, as long as the furlough last less than 30 days, this is not a problem. If the furlough lasts more than 30 days, the loan becomes a disbursement and is taxed, plus additional penalties assessed (10 percent) by the Internal Revenue Service. Is this true? How can one prepare for a furlough that lasts longer than 30 days? A. I don’t know where you read this, but it’s not true. If you’re in nonpay status, you…

$5,000 windfall

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Q. To preface, I am a twenty-something Defense Department civilian who will be furloughed the 11 days if Congress does not act. In June, I will have a $5,000 windfall from CD at maturity. I wanted to know the best possible option for this money. So far, I thought of fully funding my Roth IRA and saving the rest, adding to my emergency fund savings (which stands at about $25,000), funding my Thrift Savings Plan, or just investing in a taxable account (mutual fund, ETF, etc.) What do you recommend? A. Your question is like telling me that you’re flying an airplane…

Furlough and TSP hardship withdrawal

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Q. I am facing furlough soon. I already have one Thrift Savings Plan loan. Can I withdraw money from my TSP on a hardship withdrawal basis because of the furlough? I realize, if I did, I would have to pay taxes on it, etc. A. The furlough alone does not qualify you for a hardship withdrawal. To qualify for a financial hardship withdrawal, you must have a financial need for at least one of the following reasons: * Negative monthly cash flow. * Medical expenses (including household improvements needed for medical care) that you have not paid and that are not…

Increasing monthly TSP contributions

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Q. I am a GS-04, Step 10. My account balance as of Dec. 31 would provide me with a lifetime Thrift Savings Plan monthly amount of $451. As of this time, I contribute $300 every pay period to TSP. Let’s say my goal is to have a lifetime TSP monthly amount of $1,000. By how much would I have to increase my TSP amount each pay period? I am 52 years old. I am under FERS. If I was offered an early retirement, should I take it? Or should take the chance of getting furloughed for an uncertain amount of time? A. Unfortunately,…

TSP contributions

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Q. I have been contributing to the Thrift Savings Plan for a number of years. I am a GS-4. I will have 28 years of federal service in June. In the beginning, I started contributing $10 (twice a year), then $25 (a year). Beginning last May, I started contributing $50 to the TSP out of my paycheck each pay period. At this time, I have no plans on retiring. I was hired under FERS. However, with furloughs, cutbacks and early retirements, should I keep increasing my TSP by $50 each year, or should I increase it by either $75 or $100? A. You should contribute…

Would furloughs mean relaxed TSP rules?

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Q: If Congress is slow to approve a raise in the debt ceiling and the government decides to furlough employees in order to pay other loans, what are my options to use Thrift Savings Plan funds to put food on the table? Can I only make early withdrawals that are subject to penalty and tax, or can I get a hardship loan with delayed repayment when my checks start again? A: Unless an exception is offered, you should assume that you will still be considered “in-service” during the period and will be subject to the in-service withdrawal limitations. This means…