Bills on TSP Withdrawals, Whistleblowers, Others Advance

The House has passed and sent to the Senate a bill (HR-3031) to allow multiple partial TSP withdrawals after separation; multiple “age-based” withdrawals while still in service; and additional options for “substantially equal” payments, including new options to receive them either quarterly or annually, to change their amounts at any time, or to use the remaining account balance after stopping them to purchase an annuity, in addition to a lump-sum withdrawal. No Senate vote has been scheduled, although one could come soon since a companion bill has cleared the committee level there.

The House also joined the Senate in passing S-585, to require at least a three-day suspension of a supervisor who retaliates against a whistleblower for a first instance and firing for a second, and to make it an act of retaliation for an agency official to access the employee’s medical records following a disclosure.

The House also passed: HR-2196, to extend whistleblower protections to those who make disclosures to any supervisor in the employee’s direct chain of command up to and including the head of the agency; HR-2229, to permanently allow federal employees to appeal MSPB decisions against them to the federal appeals court for their area rather than only to the Federal Circuit court of appeals; and HR-378, to increase from $10,000 to $20,000 the maximum bonus an agency may pay to an employee for making a cost-saving recommendation.