Perlmutter Introduces Bill to Provide Financial Relief to Federal Employees Impacted by Partial Shutdown

Idea for bill came from constituent, allows workers to withdraw from retirement savings accounts without penalty during a federal appropriations lapse

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Washington, D.C.-, January 15, 2019 | comments

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-07) joined with Reps. Pete Olson (R-TX-22) and Don Beyer (D-VA-08) to provide relief to federal employees affected by the partial government shutdown by introducing H.R. 545, the Financial Relief for Feds Act. This bipartisan bill will allow federal employees and contractors to withdraw funds from their retirement accounts without being penalized.

“One of my constituents mentioned this idea to me when I was in the district this past weekend, and I felt like it was a good way to help the hardworking men and women who work for our country be able to keep up with regular bills and expenses during this difficult time,” said Perlmutter. “Missing paychecks puts a terrible strain on households, and we cannot let this continued shutdown jeopardize the livelihoods of these federal workers and their families.”

“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.”

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 retirement accounts without penalty and will be allowed to recontribute the money to their accounts once the government reopens.

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).

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