Thousands of Feds Withdrew Retirement Investments During Shutdown

Thousands of Feds Withdrew Retirement Investments During Shutdown

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Federal employees turned to their retirement investments for cash during the government shutdown, with thousands of workers taking hardship withdrawals to support themselves through the unpaid period.

Nearly 3,000 more feds withdrew from their Thrift Saving Plans during the shutdown than did in October of 2012, officials said at a Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board meeting Monday. When the shutdown began, roughly 900,000 federal employees were unsure if they would get paid for the time they missed, though Congress has since agreed to issue retroactive pay to the furloughed workers. Employees required to work during the shutdown also did not receive pay until the government reopened, though they were guaranteed back pay from the outset.

Furloughed federal employees were prohibited from contributing to their TSPs during the shutdown, but those contributions will be paid retroactively as a result of the back pay. The workers were allowed to make withdrawals of at least $1,000 due to “financial hardship.” Continue reading “Thousands of Feds Withdrew Retirement Investments During Shutdown”

Furloughs and Your Retirement

Well, it’s furlough time — or, as my friend Herb Hayes calls it, “furl-ouch.” Suddenly, every day feels like a snow day. But where I live in Northern Virginia, the sun is shining and it’s as hot as a summer day in mid-July. When government shutdowns happen, it is not as much fun to have a day off as some people seem to think. The emotions are many: fear (will I be paid?), curiosity (how is everyone handling the situation?), and anger (why would our government allow this to happen?).

While I’m not currently a federal employee, I am a government contractor who also is affected, because there are no employees at work to attend my pre-retirement seminars. I always try to look on the bright side of any situation, but there are many people — feds as well as those who depend on the government to stay in business — that will not see any bright side to this situation. Continue reading