In the event of your death, the funds in your beneficiary participant account cannot remain in the TSP. Your account will have to be distributed to the beneficiary(ies) you indicate on Form TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary, or, if no form is on file with the TSP, according to the order of precedence described below:
- To your spouse;
- If none, to your child or children equally, and to descendants of deceased children by representation;
- If none, to your parents equally or the surviving parent;
- If none, to the appointed executor or administrator of your estate;
- 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.
For this order of precedence, a child includes a natural child or an adopted child, but does not include a stepchild who has not been adopted. A parent does not include a stepparent, unless your stepparent has adopted you. “By representation” means that if your child predeceases you, his or her share will be divided equally among his or her children.
A will or any other document is not valid for the disposition of your beneficiary participant account. It is not a substitute for a Designation of Beneficiary form.
If you submit a withdrawal form requesting an annuity and you die before the annuity payments begin, the amount used to purchase the annuity will be returned to the TSP. The TSP will, if possible, distribute this money consistent with your annuity beneficiary designation.
If you wish, you can designate a person or persons, your estate, a charitable organization, a trust, or another legal entity to receive your beneficiary participant account after your death. To designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries, you must use Form TSP-3, Designation of Beneficiary. A copy of the form was included with your welcome letter. It is also on the TSP website under Forms & Publications.
Your completed form must be received by the TSP on or before the date of your death.
By law, the TSP must pay your properly designated beneficiary under all circumstances. Therefore, if your life situation changes, you may want to file a new Designation of Beneficiary form that cancels or changes your current beneficiary designation.
When you make a beneficiary designation for your beneficiary participant account, you will receive a confirmation of your primary designation(s) in the mail. Your primary beneficiary(ies) will also be shown on your annual statement, which is mailed to you at the beginning of each calendar year. Alternatively, if your designation cannot be processed, you will be notified by the TSP.