Your TSP Account May Be Divided

A valid retirement benefits court order to divide your TSP account may be issued at any stage of a divorce, annulment, or legal separation proceeding and may have the following effects on your account:

  • It may award to your current or former spouse, or to your dependents, a specified dollar amount - or a portion of your account - as of a specific past or current date.
  • It will require the TSP to freeze your account, preventing you from taking any loans or withdrawals until the award is paid out or the order is otherwise resolved. (However, a freeze will not prevent you from making contributions or changing your contribution allocation or investment choices. Also, you will still be required to make payments on existing loans.)
Be sure to read the TSP booklet Court Orders and Powers of Attorney for a complete understanding of your rights and responsibilities.

Review Your Beneficiary Designations

Make sure that your TSP account will be awarded according to your wishes in the event of your death.

If you submit a Designation of Beneficiary form, the TSP will honor only beneficiaries named on that form.

If no Designation of Beneficiary form has been submitted, your account will be distributed according to the standard order of precedence.

If you submitted Form TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary (formerly TSP-U-3 for uniformed services members), and designated your spouse as your beneficiary, your account will be paid out to that spouse when you die, even if you are separated or divorced from that spouse or have remarried. The TSP will not honor a will, a property settlement agreement, separation agreement, or court order when distributing your TSP account.

Submit a new Form TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary, to change or cancel a previous designation.