Entering a nonpay status
What is nonpay status?
Nonpay status is when active federal government employees, including the uniformed services, do not receive regular pay for one or more pay periods because of furlough, suspension, or leave without pay (including leave to perform military duty).
Here are some things you can expect while you’re in nonpay status:
What stays the same?
- You can continue to make interfund transfers (IFTs). You can also make contribution allocation changes that will take effect once you return to pay status, or when you make future loan payments to your account.
- You can transfer or roll over money into your TSP account from traditional IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, and eligible employer plans.
- You can request a financial hardship or age-based in-service withdrawal, if you’re eligible.
While you are in nonpay status:
- You will not be able to contribute to the TSP because your employee contributions must be made through payroll deductions.
- You are not eligible to request a new TSP loan.
- If you’re a FERS or BRS participant, you will not receive Agency/Service Matching Contributions (which are based on your employee contributions) or Agency/Service Automatic (1%) Contributions (which are calculated on basic pay earned each pay period). However, please note the following:
- If you’re a civilian employee in nonpay status to perform military service, you may make contributions to your uniformed services account from your uniformed services pay. You will not receive agency contributions in your uniformed services account, but when you return to civilian pay status you may be entitled to make up TSP employee contributions to your civilian account and, if you’re a FERS employee, receive restored agency contributions. If you are also a BRS participant, you will receive Service Automatic (1%) Contributions and, if eligible, Service Matching Contributions. Your reclaimed agency contributions to your civilian account will be reduced accordingly. For more information, read the fact sheet TSP Benefits That Apply to Members of the Military Who Return to Federal Civilian Service.
What are the effects of nonpay status on my contributions and loans?
- If you make employee contributions based on a percentage of your basic pay and your income decreases during the pay period, your contributions would automatically decrease by an equal percentage. However, if you make contributions based on a dollar amount, that amount would not automatically decrease with the reduction in pay.
- If you don’t earn enough per pay period for your agency to deduct the required loan payment from your pay because of a furlough, you would be responsible for ensuring your TSP loan payments are up to date.
For in-depth information on short-term and long-term effects of a government shutdown or furlough, read our fact sheets Sequestration and Your TSP Account and Effect of non-pay Status on Your TSP Account.