FAQ

What Oklahoma state agencies are experiencing furloughs?

What is a furlough?

What is a RIF?  

What is VOBO? 

Am I eligible for unemployment? 

I am having trouble paying my bills. What should I do? 

Where can I find free activities to do on my furlough day?

I need help managing my expenses. Do you have any tools that will help me?  

Can I borrow from my 401(k)? 

Should I borrow from my 401(k)?

What are some other financial solutions?

Who manages HelpingOK.com? 

How can I contact them? 

What Oklahoma state agencies are experiencing furloughs?  

As of 5/2010:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Corporation Commission
  • Office of Disability Concerns
  • Fire Marshal
  • Medical Examiners Office
  • Dept of Mental Health
  • Peanut Commission
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Oklahoma Historical Society
  • Indigent Defense System
  • Juvenile Affairs
  • Pardon and Parole Board
  • Tax Commission
  • Tourism and Recreation Department
  • Water Resources Board
  • Will Rogers Memorial Commission

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What is a furlough? 
The placement of an employee on involuntary leave without pay for a specified period of time. For state employees, the maximum amount of time an employee can be furloughed is 184 hours in a 12-month period. back to top

What is a RIF?  
RIF stands for Reduction in Force, which is the abolition of positions in an agency or part of an agency and the corresponding non-disciplinary removal of affected employees from such positions through separation from employment or through displacement to other positions. The term “reduction in force” is one that applies only to classified employees in the state’s merit system of personnel administration, although unclassified employees can be separated for the same reasons that the agency is implement a reduction in force among classified employees. back to top

What is VOBO? 
VOBO stands for voluntary buyout. State agencies are authorized to provide voluntary out benefits to eligible employees who are voluntarily separated from their positions to reduce or eliminate the adverse impact of an imminent reduction in force. Agencies who offer a voluntary buyout must provide certain monetary benefits to employees who agree to participate. back to top

Am I eligible for unemployment? 
The short answer is that it is not likely state furloughed employees will be eligible for unemployment benefits. Contact the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission for more information. back to top

I am having trouble paying my mortgage. What should I do?
If you are having trouble paying any bill, it’s always best contact the lender/company. They may have an alternative recommendation or consider different payment arrangements. For additional recommendations, see our Resources and Financial Tools pages. back to top

Where can I find free activities to do on my furlough day?
Check out our Resources page for a few ideas. There are also more blog posts to come on this topic… back to top

I need help managing my expenses. Do you have any tools that will help me?  
Our Financial Tools page has several worksheets that can help you with your budget and expenses. back to top

Can I borrow from my 401(k)?
If you are under the age of 59 1/2, a distribution (including a distribution of employer matching and profit sharing contributions) from your 401(k) plan are subject to a 10% additional tax on early distributions. This 10% additional tax is in addition to other taxes that apply to the distribution.

However, a 401(k) plan may permit loans and hardship distributions. Depending on the terms of your 401(k) plan, you may be able to receive a loan or hardship distribution.

Your employer should have written information about your particular plan (including the availability of loans or hardship distributions and applicable requirements) as well as other plan rules. For more information visit www.irs.gov. back to top

Should I borrow from my 401(k)?
Dipping into your 401(k) should be a loan of last resort. It can be expensive and may derail your retirement, so make sure you’ve explored other possibilities. Of course, you should also aim to curb spending and cut out unnecessary expenses. back to top

What are some other financial solutions?

  • Apply for a home equity loan or line of credit.
  • Sell investments. Selling in a down market isn’t a great investment strategy. But for those who have dabbled in the stock market beyond their retirement savings, selling some stocks has fewer consequences than borrowing from your 401(k).
  • Consider financing. See if you can work out more favorable loan terms with lenders. The IRS, for example, offers installment plans to pay income tax.
  • Work with a credit counselor or debt-settlement company such as Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS).  See our Resources page.

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Who manages HelpingOK.com?
HelpingOK.com is managed by Oklahoma Employees Credit Union as a service to their members and members of the community. back to top

How can I contact them?
If you are interested in the services that OECU provides, please visit www.oecu.org for more information.

To contact the webmaster about issues relating to HelpingOK.com, please use the contact form. back to top

Special programs at OECU

January 27, 2010
by: admin • Assistance