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FLEOA Pushed for Tax Penalty fix for TSP

May 26, 2022

The Honorable Patrick J. Toomey
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Michael Bennett
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510


Dear Senator Toomey and Senator Bennett,

I am writing on behalf of the more than 31,000 members of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) in strong support of S. 4314, the "Protecting Public Safety Employees’ Timely Retirement Act,” which would allow federal law enforcement officers access to their retirement savings, without suffering the tax penalty, in line with when they are actually able to retire.

Federal law enforcement officers serve and protect our nation valiantly every day. They handle unpredictable work schedules, demanding mission requirements, and stresses that most other professionals do not endure. In recognition of the nature of their work and the duties they perform, federal law enforcement officers are eligible to retire after 20 years of service at age 50, or 25 years of service at any age. Several years ago, we worked with Congress to pass legislation that allows these brave men and women to access the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) defined contribution component of their retirement savings at age 50 without incurring the 10 percent penalty that normally applies to distributions before the age of 59 ½.

Unfortunately, this law does not apply to those situations in which law enforcement officers retire after 25 years of service but are still below the age 50 threshold. Thus, current law unnecessarily restricts access to the TSP to many officers for years after they retire from federal service. The COVID-19 pandemic in particular has highlighted the problem with this tax, as many federal law enforcement officers were penalized for accessing retirement savings that they needed to support personal or medical situations caused by the pandemic.

Tax penalties on early TSP withdrawals undermines federal law enforcement retirement benefits as it does when the penalties are not tied to the retirement parameters of the federal system or permit a rollover option. We applaud you both for introducing this bill and look forward to working with you see this measure swiftly enacted into law.

Sincerely,

Larry Cosme

National President
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association