When was the last time you checked your beneficiary designations? There are four beneficiary forms to keep current. These forms include designations of beneficiaries for unpaid compensation, life insurance, retirement, and the Thrift Savings Plan. You should periodically review your designations to ensure they remain current. Please know that a change in family status does not invalidate a beneficiary form. For instance, if you designated your spouse and you have since divorced, your former spouse is still your beneficiary unless you file a new beneficiary form, either canceling the previous one or designating someone else. Additionally, please know that the unpaid compensation beneficiary form is no longer valid if you transfer to another Federal agency.
You can view your designations for unpaid compensation, life insurance, and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) in your electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF). However, the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and TSP beneficiary forms are not filed in your eOPF. The CSRS beneficiary forms are kept on file with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and you may view your TSP beneficiary designation by logging into your TSP account on the TSP website.
When completing beneficiary forms, the forms for unpaid compensation, life insurance, and FERS must be forwarded to the Retirement and Employee Benefits Branch, 31 Center Drive, Bldg 31/Room 1B37, Bethesda, MD 20892-2215 (NIEHS Employees: Forward your forms to Brenda Morissette, PO Box 12233, Keystone/Room 1105 (K1-01), Research Triangle Park, NC 27709). The CSRS form should be mailed directly to the OPM address indicated on the form. Please note that forms must be signed with a wet/original signature and erasures, white-out, or cross-outs are not permitted on the designation forms. Additionally, the forms must be signed by witnesses prior to submission. To make a TSP beneficiary designation, you must log into your TSP account.
If you do not have beneficiary forms on file, any payments due upon your death will be distributed according to the established order of precedence. If you are satisfied with the normal order of precedence, you do not need to file any designations.
If you have questions, refer them to your Benefits Contact or AskBenefits@nih.gov.