fedweek.com | loosened TSP withdrawal options in wake of harvey

The TSP has temporarily loosed policies regarding financial hardship withdrawals for federal employees in the Hurricane Harvey disaster area–or who have qualifying family members in that area–and who have incurred losses as a result of the storm. The TSP will waive the normal requirement to document a financial hardship through January 24 for such persons; they should write “Hurricane Harvey” in the personal casualty loss section of the hardship withdrawal form, the TSP-76. Also, the TSP will waive the normal policy barring further investments for the six months after taking such a withdrawal.

Meanwhile, OPM has cleared agencies to establish emergency leave transfer programs in which employees may donate annual leave for the benefit of employees of the same or other agencies who are affected or whose family members are affected and who have exhausted their own leave but still need time off from work. Individual agencies set policies for making donations and eligibility for recipients.

OPM also has authorized special solicitations of employees at the workplace to support victims with cash or check donations outside the normal Combined Federal Campaign. Agencies are to decide whether and how to conduct such collections which charities will receive the contributions.

Further, the GSA has raised the minimum thresholds for agencies to use simplified methods for small purchases, acquisition of commercial items and leasing related to the storm.