Resources

Publications:

Forms:

  • TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary
Should you complete a Designation of Beneficiary Form?
If you want to leave your money according to the statutory order of precedence, there's no need to send the TSP Designation of Beneficiary form. Complete and send it only if you want to leave your account to other beneficiaries or to divide it in a manner that's different from the order of precedence.
Is your beneficiary designation up to date?
Be sure to review your beneficiary designation when your personal situation changes. Marriage, the birth or adoption of a child, a divorce, or even the death of a beneficiary might necessitate a beneficiary change. Otherwise, in the event of your death, the money in your TSP account may not be distributed according to your wishes.
Is your address up to date?
Be sure that the TSP has your current mailing address before you submit your Designation of Beneficiary form. Visit Your Mailing Address.

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


How the TSP Distributes Death Benefits

Distribution According to the Statutory Order of Precedence

If you do not have a Designation of Beneficiary form on file with the TSP, your money will be distributed according to the following order of precedence required by law:

  1. To your spouse;
  2. If none, to your child or children equally, and to the descendants of deceased children;
  3. If none, to your parents equally or your surviving parent;
  4. If none, to your appointed executor or administrator of your estate;
  5. If none, to your next of kin who is entitled to your estate under the laws of the state in which you resided at the time of your death.

Distribution According to the TSP Designation of Beneficiary

If you wish to have your money distributed in some way other than the statutory order of precedence, you must complete and submit Form TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary. The TSP will not honor a will, a prenuptial agreement, a separation agreement, a property settlement agreement, a court order, or a trust document when distributing your account. By law, we must pay the properly designated beneficiary or beneficiaries on Form TSP-3 or, if there is no form on file, follow the order of precedence explained above. The law does not allow us to make exceptions.

Who Can You Designate as a Beneficiary?

Primary Beneficiaries

You can designate one or more persons, a corporation, trust, legal entity, or your estate to receive your TSP account in the event of your death. You will have to indicate the share of your account that you would like each beneficiary to receive.

If you have both a traditional balance and a Roth balance in your TSP account, you cannot designate which balance each beneficiary will receive. Both balances will be paid proportionally to each beneficiary according to the designated share of the entire TSP account.

Contingent Beneficiaries

You can also designate contingent beneficiaries. These are persons or entities that would receive the primary beneficiary's share of your account if that primary beneficiary were to die before you.

If you don't designate any contingent beneficiaries, the share of any primary beneficiary who dies before you will be distributed proportionally among all of the surviving primary beneficiaries that you named. If no other primary beneficiaries remain, your death benefit will be paid according to the statutory order of precedence.

How to Designate a Beneficiary

If you do not want your money distributed according to the statutory order of precedence explained above, follow these steps:

  1. Complete Form TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary. The easiest way to do this is and the best way to avoid errors that could delay the process is to use the "wizard," which you'll find by logging into My Account and selecting "Beneficiaries." The wizard will prompt you to fill in the necessary information and warn you if you appear to be making an error. When you're finished, it will generate a filled-out Form TSP-3 for you to print. You can also download the form from our website and complete it manually.
  2. Whether you use the wizard or complete Form TSP-3 without it, sign each page of the form and have a witness sign each page.
  3. Return the completed form to the address indicated on the form or fax it to the number provided. You must send the form directly to the TSP. Do not submit Form TSP-3 to your agency or service. Be aware that your beneficiary designation will not be valid unless we receive it on or before the date of your death.
  4. You will receive a confirmation letter in the mail after we receive your form and process it. You will also receive a letter from the TSP if there are errors on your form that prevent it from being accepted.
Beneficiary forms that you might have on file with your agency or service (including FEGLI, SGLI, etc.) are not valid for the TSP and cannot be used to determine the distribution of your TSP account after your death.
No matter how long the TSP has had your most recent Designation of Beneficiary form, we will continue to consider it valid unless you send us a new form requesting that we cancel or change it.

Changing your contributions? Save at least 5% to get your full match.

See how easy it is to complete this form.

Let our online wizard help you with your beneficiary designation. Based on your answers to a series of questions, it will prefill the appropriate sections of your form and help you avoid mistakes that could cause your form to be delayed or rejected.

Are you separated from federal employment?

If you are separated from federal employment, you may change your address online at My Account: Profile Settings. You will need to enter your TSP account number and your web password to make this change. You may also call the ThriftLine to change your address. Active participants must notify your agency or service when you have an address change.

You cannot use this form to change your address. As a current federal employee or service member, you must change your address through your agency or service.

Are you separated from federal employment?

To change your name, you will need to provide documentation to the TSP. See the instructions on the form for documentation requirements.

You cannot use this form to change your name. As a current federal employee or service member, you must change your name through your agency or service.

Thinking of taking a loan? Please watch this first.

  • Log in to My Account and access the online wizard under "TSP Loans" to help you with your loan request.

Thinking of taking your money out of the TSP? Please watch this first.

Still want to make a withdrawal?

Our online wizard can help you with your withdrawal request. Based on your answers to a series of questions, it will prefill the appropriate sections of your form and help you avoid mistakes that could cause your form to be delayed or rejected.

Log in to My Account and access the online wizard on the Withdrawals menu to help you request an Age-Based In-Service Withdrawal.

Log in to My Account and access the online wizard on the Withdrawals menu to help you request a Financial Hardship In-Service Withdrawal.

See how easy it is to complete this form.

Let our online wizard help you with your withdrawal request. Based on your answers to a series of questions, it will prefill the appropriate sections of your form and help you avoid mistakes that could cause your form to be delayed or rejected.

undefinedundefinedundefined