Resources for employees impacted by furlough

By ASA M&RA/ Army G-1 Public AffairsMarch 26, 2013

WASHINGTON (March 26, 2013) -- Senior Army leaders recognize that the Civilian workforce is poised to enter an era where many may face financial hardship in the event of a furlough. This Financial Resource Sheet provides links to useful information that may assist in dealing with the financial situation resulting from the anticipated furlough.

One of the first documents you should review is your current Earnings and Leave Statement, as this will tell you what current deductions you have, to include allotments, and how you can make modifications that may increase your "cash flow" and to some degree minimize the full impact of lost wages due to the furlough. Understand that any changes you make, e.g., reducing tax exemptions, temporarily suspending TSP contribution, etc., may have a tax implication, and you should seek financial advice.

In the event you are experiencing a financial hardship due to the furlough, you should contact financial institutions early on to discuss options, and not wait until you have fallen behind any financial obligations.

The following is a list of resources for your consideration. All links below can be accessed by copying and pasting the URLs in a browser or by clicking the matching title in the "related links" section on this page:

--ARMY furlough FAQs:

--Thrift Savings Plan (TSP):

Employees may access their Thrift Savings Plan at or contact their agency representative for information. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which administers TSP, has posted guidance regarding the effect of nonpay status on TSP accounts at, and specific guidance regarding the impact of sequestration and furlough at, and can be reached at 1-877-968-3778 for additional information.

-- Warning from the TSP Board: Third-party mobile applications:

There are a number of mobile applications that reference the Thrift Savings Plan and may prompt you for your TSP account credentials. These applications are NOT sponsored by TSP. The TSP cannot endorse any information or advice provided by third-party applications. More important, providing your TSP account credentials to third-party applications may jeopardize the security of your account. For more information on keeping your account safe, see the Security Center on the TSP website or contact the ThriftLine at 1-TSP-YOU-FRST (1-877-968-3778).

-- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Coordinator:

The uncertainty of a government furlough may leave some federal employees feeling stressed and anxious. You can, however, access your Employee Assistance Coordinator, and you may be able to obtain assistance with your financial questions. Consultation may include help with budgeting or creditors, although EAP is designed to help with most issues or concerns. The resources of the EAP are available for employees and managers with both personal and work-related concerns at no expense to the employee.

-- OPM memorandum policy guidance to standardize the Order of Precedence When Gross Pay is Not Sufficient to Permit All Deductions:

This guidance provides payroll processing activities involved in ordering deductions when pay is insufficient to permit all deductions. This posting is provided to help employees understand the order in which authorized deductions from their pay will be processed.

-- OPM's administrative furlough guidance:

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has prepared human resources guidance for agencies and employees on administrative furloughs. An administrative furlough is a planned event by an agency which is designed to absorb reductions necessitated by downsizing, reduced funding, lack of work, or other budget situation other than a lapse in appropriations.

-- OPM's pay and leave furlough guidance: This page provides information on shutdown furloughs.

-- DoD's furlough guidance:

This site provides guidance and answers to frequently asked questions as part of DoD's efforts to keep employees informed.

-- Sequestration and your TSP account:

Read the TSP fact sheet at to get answers to questions about the impact of a furlough on your TSP contributions as well as alternatives for accessing TSP funds should you be faced with significant financial hardship as a result of a furlough.

-- Furlough calculator:

DoD employees now have a convenient way to calculate their loss in pay if planned furloughs.\pdf\Furlough-Pay-Calculator.xlsx

-- Budget worksheet:

To help you track your expenses and build a monthly budget, use the following worksheet for at least two or three consecutive months. This will give you a sense of where you are spending your money and changes you can choose to make to improve your situation, if necessary.

-- Civilian human resources agency list of employee assistance providers:

Related Links: Inside the Army News

OPM Memorandum Policy Guidance to Standardize the Order of Precedence When Gross Pay is Not Sufficient to Permit All Deductions

DoD's Furlough Guidance

Furlough Calculator

OPM's Pay and Leave Furlough Guidance

OPM's Administrative Furlough Guidance

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

The impact of sequestration and furlough on TSP

The effect of nonpay status on TSP accounts