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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Title 5: Administrative Personnel
§1651.14 How payment is made.
(a) Each beneficiary's death benefit will be disbursed pro rata from the participant's traditional and Roth balances. The payment from the traditional balance will be further pro rated between the tax-deferred balance and tax-exempt balance. The payment from the Roth balance will be further pro rated between contributions in the Roth balance and earnings in the Roth balance. In addition, all death benefits will be disbursed pro rata from all TSP Funds in which the deceased participant's account is invested. All pro rated amounts will be based on the balances in each TSP Fund or source of contributions on the day the disbursement is made. Disbursement will be made separately for each entitled beneficiary.
(b) Spouse beneficiaries. The TSP will automatically transfer a surviving spouse's death benefit to a beneficiary participant account (described in §1651.19) established in the spouse's name. The TSP will not maintain a beneficiary participant account if the balance of the beneficiary participant account is less than $200 on the date the account is established. The Agency also will not transfer this amount or pay it by electronic funds transfer. Instead the spouse will receive an immediate distribution in the form of a check.
(c) Nonspouse beneficiaries. The TSP record keeper will send notice of pending payment to each beneficiary. Payment will be sent to the address that is provided on the participant's TSP designation of beneficiary form unless the TSP receives written notice of a more recent address. All beneficiaries must provide the TSP record keeper with a taxpayer identification number; i.e., Social Security number (SSN), employee identification number (EIN), or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), as appropriate. The following additional rules apply to payments to nonspouse beneficiaries:
(1) Payment to minor child or incompetent beneficiary. Payment will be made in the name of a minor child or incompetent beneficiary. A parent or other guardian may direct where the payment should be sent and may make any permitted tax withholding election. A guardian of a minor child or incompetent beneficiary must submit court documen tation showing his or her appointment as guardian.
(2) Payment to executor or administrator. If payment is to the executor or administrator of an estate, the check will be made payable to the estate of the deceased participant, not to the executor or administrator. A TIN must be provided for all estates.
(3) Payment to trust. If payment is to a trust, the payment will be made payable to the trust and mailed in care of the trustee. A TIN must be provided for the trust.
(4) Payment to inherited IRA on behalf of a nonspouse beneficiary. If payment is to an inherited IRA on behalf of a nonspouse beneficiary, the check will be made payable to the account. Information pertaining to the inherited IRA must be submitted by the IRA trustee. A payment to an inherited IRA will be made only in accordance with the rules set forth in 5 CFR 1650.25.
(5) If a death benefit payment is returned as undeliverable, the TSP record keeper will attempt to contact the beneficiary. If the beneficiary does not respond within 60 days, the TSP will forfeit the death benefit payment to the Plan. The beneficiary can claim the forfeited funds, although they will not be credited with TSP investment returns.
(6) A properly paid death benefit payment cannot be returned to the TSP.
[62 FR 32429, June 13, 1997, as amended at 67 FR 49527, July 30, 2002; 68 FR 35510, June 13, 2003; 68 FR 74451, Dec. 23, 2003; 70 FR 32217, June 1, 2005; 72 FR 53414, Sept. 19, 2007; 75 FR 78879, Dec. 17, 2010; 77 FR 26427, May 4, 2012]