I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

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cookienadal
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I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by cookienadal »

Hi

I keep sending my dads death certificate. He has no other beneficiary alive. They keep saying they haven’t received it. Then said illegible. I have sent them 5 copies. What will happen to this money if I can’t get them to send the beneficiary packet. This is a small 15000 account. Not worth hiring a lawyer but it’s been over 2 months and they are not doing anything about getting this money to me. OPM knows he’s dead. They have to have this death certificate. Any advice.
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Taylor Larimore
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by Taylor Larimore »

cookienadal wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 6:09 pm Hi

I keep sending my dads death certificate. He has no other beneficiary alive. They keep saying they haven’t received it. Then said illegible. I have sent them 5 copies. What will happen to this money if I can’t get them to send the beneficiary packet. This is a small 15000 account. Not worth hiring a lawyer but it’s been over 2 months and they are not doing anything about getting this money to me. OPM knows he’s dead. They have to have this death certificate. Any advice.
cookienadal:

Welcome to the Bogleheads Forum!

I recently contacted the Office of Personnel Management about my own government life insurance. This is their address:

Office of Personnel Management
Retirement Operations Center
P.O. Box 45
Boyers, Pennsylvania 16017-0045

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "The federal government has a defined contribution plan, a federal employees' Thrift Plan. And guess what they do? They buy index funds and just a very simple line. -- So our legislators and our federal employees get these great benefits through as close to a perfect retirement plan as you can have owning the financial markets and holding them forever."
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
Topic Author
cookienadal
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by cookienadal »

Thanks so much. I already have his life insurance. OPM was great. The problem is Thrift Savings Account.
Alan S.
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by Alan S. »

Why would they indicate that the Death Cert is illegible? Is it handwritten?
Are you having any trouble reading it? Apparently, the OPM had no problem.

Are you attempting a direct rollover to an inherited IRA or just want to cash it out?
Joyful
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by Joyful »

Hi - I’m very sorry for your loss.
Have you mailed the death certificate via a trackable method in which a signature is required (certified mail, UPS, FEDX)?
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cookienadal
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by cookienadal »

No. I haven’t. I’ve faxed. Snail mailed 4 times. Even attached to his account as a document once. I have not sent it certified.

I wanted to do the inherited IRA ad I an only 52 so I think I have to do that 10 year account. Merrill said they don’t do those. That’s where I’m invested.
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Kenkat
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by Kenkat »

Have you sent an original, certified copy and not a photocopy? Some entities require an original, others will accept a copy.
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cookienadal
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by cookienadal »

. I’ve gotten 3 letters in mail saying haven’t received and then latest saying illegible. Another is in the mail now very legible.

I have had people on the phone say yes it was received and others say it wasn’t. No one was able to tell me what next steps would be.

They assured me a copy was ok but next one I send is gonna be a certified by certified mail.

Would contacting my congresswoman help. (She is a lame duck. Lost primary)
Blue456
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by Blue456 »

cookienadal wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 7:45 pm No. I haven’t. I’ve faxed. Snail mailed 4 times. Even attached to his account as a document once. I have not sent it certified.

I wanted to do the inherited IRA ad I an only 52 so I think I have to do that 10 year account. Merrill said they don’t do those. That’s where I’m invested.
I learned the hard way that whenever dealing with anyone these days I never send fax or mail other than certified. I
Big Dog
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by Big Dog »

cookienadal wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 7:45 pm No. I haven’t. I’ve faxed. Snail mailed 4 times. Even attached to his account as a document once. I have not sent it certified.
Protip: send everything USPS Priority Mail with tracking (~2nd day air). When my dad passed, several of my snail mail letters never got processed, so started to send with tracking, so when you call them, you can say, 'I have proof from the USPS that it was delivered on xx date.)

btw: fax could be worst right now, with millions still working from home.
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by delamer »

cookienadal wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 7:58 pm . I’ve gotten 3 letters in mail saying haven’t received and then latest saying illegible. Another is in the mail now very legible.

I have had people on the phone say yes it was received and others say it wasn’t. No one was able to tell me what next steps would be.

They assured me a copy was ok but next one I send is gonna be a certified by certified mail.

Would contacting my congresswoman help. (She is a lame duck. Lost primary)
She’ll be around until January 2023.

You have nothing to lose.
One thing that humbles me deeply is to see that human genius has its limits while human stupidity does not. - Alexandre Dumas, fils
quietseas
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by quietseas »

You'll want to review this site:
https://www.tsp.gov/for-beneficiaries/b ... ributions/

Note that as a non-spousal beneficiary you will want to roll over the beneficiary account the TSP creates for you into an Inherited IRA. If Merrill Lynch told you an Inherited IRA was not possible you need to call back and talk to someone different.

Or, if $15,000 won't impact your taxes significantly, take it out in one disbursement to simplify this.
chemocean
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by chemocean »

cookienadal wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 6:09 pm Hi

I keep sending my dads death certificate. He has no other beneficiary alive. They keep saying they haven’t received it. Then said illegible. I have sent them 5 copies. What will happen to this money if I can’t get them to send the beneficiary packet. This is a small 15000 account. Not worth hiring a lawyer but it’s been over 2 months and they are not doing anything about getting this money to me. OPM knows he’s dead. They have to have this death certificate. Any advice.
The address given in booklet 31 is
Thrift Savings Plan
P.O. Box 385021
Birmingham, AL 35238

Booklet 31 says you,as non-spousal beneficiary listed as the designated beneficiary, have "have 60 days after the beneficiary determination package is sent". Do you have a copy of his beneficiary form stating you are his beneficiary? Is your address on the the beneficiary form your current address? If you are not listed as beneficiary, it seems that the TSP funds becomes part of his estate, for which you may be the only beneficiary.
Topic Author
cookienadal
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by cookienadal »

They do have me listed in his online account as beneficiary.

The address you listed hasn’t been on any of my letters. I think that might be an old address.
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cookienadal
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by cookienadal »

And address is correct.
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SquawkIdent
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by SquawkIdent »

cookienadal wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 7:58 pm . I’ve gotten 3 letters in mail saying haven’t received and then latest saying illegible. Another is in the mail now very legible.

I have had people on the phone say yes it was received and others say it wasn’t. No one was able to tell me what next steps would be.

They assured me a copy was ok but next one I send is gonna be a certified by certified mail.

Would contacting my congresswoman help. (She is a lame duck. Lost primary)
I would contact my local congress person. Dealing with the TSP lately has been a lesson in futility. It’s not you…it’s them. Let your representative deal with them.
chemocean
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by chemocean »

cookienadal wrote: Wed Aug 17, 2022 9:03 am They do have me listed in his online account as beneficiary.

The address you listed hasn’t been on any of my letters. I think that might be an old address.
Thanks for the heads up on my outdated Booklet 31 as of April 2021. I will go to the TSP website and download a new booklet.
chemocean
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by chemocean »

Was your Dad the original TSP owner, or did he inherit the TSP as a spousal beneficiary from his wife?
If you Dad inherited the account, then you are not eligible to transfer the funds to an inherited IRA and will receive the balance of the spousal beneficiary TSP as a taxable lump sum payment.

You are correct there is a new TSP booklet 31 dated May 2022. Thanks for bring the update of booklet 31 to those on this forum.


In the booklet, it says:

When a TSP participant dies while still actively employed in federal service, the
employing agency informs the TSP If a participant dies after separating from
federal service or is the account holder of a beneficiary participant account,
the participant’s survivors should contact us using one of the ThriftLine Service
Center options listed at the beginning of this booklet:

ThriftLine Service Center
c/o Broadridge Processing
PO Box 1600
Newark, NJ 07101-1600
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AAA
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by AAA »

Blue456 wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:01 pmI learned the hard way that whenever dealing with anyone these days I never send fax or mail other than certified.
I wonder about the value of doing this. Yes, it shows that something was received but not what it was. OP's several mailings were likely received but they still are claiming it wasn't.
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cookienadal
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by cookienadal »

The account was his. He’s the Fed worker

I don’t think I trust them through inherited iRA process. More paperwork to get lost. In addition I asked Merrill and they said not doing them right now because rules about to change
Blue456
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by Blue456 »

AAA wrote: Wed Aug 17, 2022 9:49 am
Blue456 wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 8:01 pmI learned the hard way that whenever dealing with anyone these days I never send fax or mail other than certified.
I wonder about the value of doing this. Yes, it shows that something was received but not what it was. OP's several mailings were likely received but they still are claiming it wasn't.
Likely received is not good enough. You want indisputable paper trail that later can be elevated to a higher level.

I have learned the hard way that people can always say, we in fact did not receive a fax and we did not get anything in mail. It's harder to do so when signature is required.
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cookienadal
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by cookienadal »

There address is a POBox. How would I get a signiture?
Alan S.
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by Alan S. »

chemocean wrote: Wed Aug 17, 2022 9:21 am
In the booklet, it says:

When a TSP participant dies while still actively employed in federal service, the
employing agency informs the TSP If a participant dies after separating from
federal service or is the account holder of a beneficiary participant account,
the participant’s survivors should contact us using one of the ThriftLine Service
Center options listed at the beginning of this booklet:
The TSP can be very confusing for those accustomed to private retirement plans.

The TSP could eliminate much of this confusion by renaming the "beneficiary participant account" as "spousal beneficiary participant account", since a non spouse beneficiary is NOT ELIGIBLE for a beneficiary participant account.

Therefore, while OP is clearly a designated beneficiary of father's TSP, they do not have a beneficiary participant account, not being a spousal beneficiary. Further, the non spouse beneficiary has only 90 days to request a direct rollover to an inherited IRA to avoid a taxable lump sum distribution. Not being a TSP follower, I do not know when the 90 day count starts, perhaps the DOD. In many cases, the non spouse beneficiary may not be aware of the participant's death for several days or even after 90 days has passed.

The TSP may be a great plan for participants, but not so much for non spouse beneficiaries - even when they are able to efficiently handle the status change from participant to non spouse beneficiary. In the case of OP, they are failing, and the 90 day period is racing by or perhaps will expire.

All TSP participants should duly warn their non spouse beneficiaries regarding deadlines and options, or perhaps roll over their TSP once their health starts downhill.
quietseas
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by quietseas »

Alan S. wrote: Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:28 pm perhaps roll over their TSP once their health starts downhill.
When health starts to decline or when RMDs start, which ever comes earlier.
chemocean
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by chemocean »

Alan S. wrote: Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:28 pm I do not know when the 90 day count starts, perhaps the DOD. In many cases, the non spouse beneficiary may not be aware of the participant's death for several days or even after 90 days has passed.
According to TSP booklet 31, the 60- day clock starts ticking when the beneficiary package is send (by TSP) to the beneficiary of the TSP account of an original owner. So, if the OP gets the package, the beneficiary show save to envelope for the postmark. Talking to a TSP representative on the phone (huh, I got through pre-Covid), it has been suggested that TSP has some discretion to allow some leeway if the rollover process has been started by not completed in 60 days. So, it seems that the clock has not started ticking for the OP. unless TSP has the wrong address for the beneficiary?

In previous posts, I have suggested that the beneficiary of an inherited TSP account from the original owner, set up the inherited IRA to receive the funds before sending in the death certificate to eliminate that step in the process within the 60 days. The OP tried that approach but was rebuffed because the impending change in regulations.
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cookienadal
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by cookienadal »

Yes thank you. Sounds like my understanding of it. I might just get the cashout. My income will probably go up not down within 10 years.
However, if I were to set up the Inherited IRA does anyone know anywhere I might be able to do it.
I am already a customer of Merrill, BOA, a couple of credit unions, and Vanguard.
Thanks for the great responses and help.
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by BogleKev »

Kenkat wrote: Tue Aug 16, 2022 7:49 pm Have you sent an original, certified copy and not a photocopy? Some entities require an original, others will accept a copy.
When I tried to photocopy my Dad's death certificate two years ago for some similar kinds of financial follow-up after his death, the copies came out with a faint "VOID" watermark on them. That could be an issue. A couple of the institutions rejected the copies and asked for originals. If you know the funeral home that did your father's arrangements, they can send you official copies -- usually for a very small sum. Good luck, and sorry for your loss.
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AAA
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by AAA »

My experience is that almost all places where accounts had to be updated accepted a scanned death certificate which was surprising as it says right at the top that it can't be copied.
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by Alan S. »

chemocean wrote: Thu Aug 18, 2022 10:01 am
Alan S. wrote: Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:28 pm I do not know when the 90 day count starts, perhaps the DOD. In many cases, the non spouse beneficiary may not be aware of the participant's death for several days or even after 90 days has passed.
According to TSP booklet 31, the 60- day clock starts ticking when the beneficiary package is send (by TSP) to the beneficiary of the TSP account of an original owner. So, if the OP gets the package, the beneficiary show save to envelope for the postmark. Talking to a TSP representative on the phone (huh, I got through pre-Covid), it has been suggested that TSP has some discretion to allow some leeway if the rollover process has been started by not completed in 60 days. So, it seems that the clock has not started ticking for the OP. unless TSP has the wrong address for the beneficiary?

In previous posts, I have suggested that the beneficiary of an inherited TSP account from the original owner, set up the inherited IRA to receive the funds before sending in the death certificate to eliminate that step in the process within the 60 days. The OP tried that approach but was rebuffed because the impending change in regulations.
Good suggestions.
Note: The 5/22 edition of TSP booklet indicates 90 days as the deadline, not 60. Whether the increase to 90 comes with less flexibility or not would be important.
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cookienadal
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TSP beneficiary—no packet sent

Post by cookienadal »

[Thread merged into here --admin LadyGeek]

Hi. My dad died 6/13. On around 8/12 they finally admitted they had death certificate. They have my correct address. When should I receive my packet? Anyone have experience with this? I’m wondering if should call again. No one there knows anything so feel like it’s pointless
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Eagle33
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Re: TSP beneficiary—no packet sent

Post by Eagle33 »

What type of packet are your expecting?
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cookienadal
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Re: TSP beneficiary—no packet sent

Post by cookienadal »

How to get the money that I am the beneficiary for.
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calmaniac
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Re: TSP beneficiary—no packet sent

Post by calmaniac »

Question: Does TSP have a beneficiary services advisor? When I worked on my dad's estate, Schwab assigned me a beneficiary services advisor and I worked with that person.

It always helps when you are working with the same person, or at the very least have the names of the people you have previously talked with. Having a record of names and dates you talked will help. At some point if nothing improves, you need to ask for a supervisor.
≈63yo. AA 70/30: 30% TSM, 16% value (VIOV/VFVA/AVUV), 16% foreign LC, 8%emerging, 30% GFund/VBTIX. Fed pensions now ≈60% of expenses. Taking SS @age 70--> pension+SS ≈100% of expenses. What me worry?
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by LadyGeek »

cookienadal - In order to provide appropriate advice, it's best to keep all the information in one spot. I merged your update back into the original thread. If you have any questions, ask them here.

(Thanks to the member who reported the post and provided a link to this thread.)
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
Topic Author
cookienadal
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by cookienadal »

I have not been assigned anyone. No one who answers the phone can actually do anything except read a computer screen.
ktmo
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by ktmo »

I am by no means an expert on this, but I have been going through the process of trying to get life insurance money and IRA money as a beneficiary. Nothing has been straightforward.

I inherited a Roth IRA - they were provided a death certificate. I called and was told they would send a packet with a form I would need to return. They never sent the packet. Third time I called, I finally get the packet. The packet needs to be notarized. I get it notarized and send it back. They tell me I need another form to be notarized. I get that form sent back, then they tell me that the first form was missing 2 pages. Start the process all over. Told to go to their branch office to get help. Get there but they don't have a notary so they can't help me. I finally got all of the required paperwork in and now waiting on the money. Fingers crossed. It has been two months since I sent in the first set of papers.

I was named beneficiary on a life insurance policy. Pretty much the same thing. Send in one form only to be told I did it wrong. Sent it in again and then they ask for some other document.

I almost feel like they make it so difficult just so that they can hold on the money longer.
Alan S.
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by Alan S. »

ktmo wrote: Tue Aug 30, 2022 6:21 pm
I almost feel like they make it so difficult just so that they can hold on the money longer.
In addition to the general deterioration of customer service everywhere, you may have a point regarding life insurers. As for the TSP, they are going through a change to a new recordkeeper which is evidently causing additional servicing delays.

First concern for you and all other TSP participants - verify your beneficiary designation!
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cookienadal
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Re: I am a TSP beneficiary [Death certificates not received]

Post by cookienadal »

Still no money. The CSRtold me to send in Tsp 17 which I literally had to do by screen sharing and them printing off of a paid site. Wonder why no one told me this months ago.
The link is broken on the actual site. I certified and they received 9/12. Maybe something will happen now.
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