Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22), Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) today acted to provide relief to federal employees affected by the partial government shutdown by introducing H.R. 545, the Financial Relief for Feds Act. This bill will allow federal employees and contractors to withdraw funds from their retirement accounts without being penalized. Original cosponsors of H.R. 545 include Reps. Randy Weber (TX-14), David McKinley (WV-01), David Trone (MD-06), Kendra Horn (OK-05), Collin Allred (TX-32) and Anthony Brown (MD-04).
“Hardworking federal employees and contractors at federal facilities like Johnson Space Center shouldn’t suffer because the federal government can’t do its job,” Rep. Pete Olson said. “Families of federal employees should not become casualties of partisan politics in Washington. This simple adjustment will allow them to access funds to provide financial stability during a stressful period they have no control over. I urge Congress to pass this bill quickly to provide needed relief to federal employees.”
“The only way to fully stop the damage being done by this shutdown is to reopen the government, but until that happens Congress should do everything in its power to help federal workers who are affected,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “This bipartisan legislation would give families flexibility to help manage bills that cannot wait, and I am proud to join my colleagues Congressmen Olson and Perlmutter in introducing it.”
“This continued shutdown is jeopardizing the livelihoods of the hardworking men and women who work for our country. Missing paychecks puts a terrible strain on households,” said Rep. Ed Perlmutter. “Families should be able to dip into additional savings and retirement funds without penalty in order to keep up with regular bills and expenses during this difficult time.”
The Financial Relief for Feds Act allows furloughed federal employees, “essential” federal employees working without pay and contractors whose sole source of earned income is their federal contract to make a withdrawal from their retirement savings accounts without the 10% penalty that normally applies. That includes not only Thrift Savings Plans (TSP) but also accounts such as IRAs. Individuals will be able to make multiple withdrawals from their TSP without penalty and will be allowed to recontribute the money to their accounts once the government reopens.