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Proposed Rule

Designation of Beneficiary

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (Agency) proposes to amend its death benefits regulations to modify the requirements necessary in order for a designation of beneficiary form to be valid.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before May 1, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments using one of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov at Docket ID number FRTIB-2017-0003. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Office of General Counsel, Attn: Megan G. Grumbine, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, 77 K Street NE., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20002.
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: The address for sending comments by hand delivery or courier is the same as that for submitting comments by mail.
  • Facsimile: Comments may be submitted by facsimile at (202) 942-1676.

The most helpful comments explain the reason for any recommended change and include data, information, and the authority that supports the recommended change.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Austen Townsend at (202) 864-8647.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Agency administers the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which was established by the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986 (FERSA), Public Law 99-335, 100 Stat. 514. The TSP provisions of FERSA are codified, as amended, largely at 5 U.S.C. 8351 and 8401-79. The TSP is a tax-deferred retirement savings plan for Federal civilian employees, members of the uniformed services, and spouse beneficiaries. The TSP is similar to cash or deferred arrangements established for private-sector employees under section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 401(k)).

Designation of Beneficiary Validity Requirements

The Agency proposes to amend its regulations to modify the requirements necessary in order for a designation of beneficiary form to be valid. The Agency's guiding statute provides that a designation of beneficiary form need only be signed, witnessed, and received by the Agency on or before the participant's date of death in order to be valid. See 5 U.S.C. 8424(d). More detailed validity requirements are set forth in the Agency's regulations at 5 CFR 1651.3(c). Section 1651.3(c) currently requires a TSP beneficiary designation form to be witnessed by two people and also requires each page of the form to be dated by the participant and both witnesses. The Agency proposes to amend section 1651.3(c) to require that all pages of a TSP beneficiary designation form be signed and dated by the participant and only one witness.

The proposed amendment would reduce the number of witnesses required. The other validity requirements, including the requirement that the same witness sign and date all pages of the beneficiary designation form, remain unchanged.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

I certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This regulation will affect Federal civilian employees and spouse beneficiaries who participate in the Thrift Savings Plan, which is a Federal defined contribution retirement savings plan created under the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986 (FERSA), Public Law 99-335, 100 Stat. 514, and which is administered by the Agency.

Paperwork Reduction Act

I certify that these regulations do not require additional reporting under the criteria of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

Pursuant to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 602, 632, 653, 1501-1571, the effects of this regulation on state, local, and tribal governments and the private sector have been assessed. This regulation will not compel the expenditure in any one year of $100 million or more by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector. Therefore, a statement under section 1532 is not required.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 1651

  • Claims
  • Government employees
  • Pensions
  • Retirement
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Gregory T. Long,

Executive Director, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

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For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Agency proposes to amend 5 CFR chapter VI as follows:

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PART 1651—DEATH BENEFITS

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1. The authority citation for part 1651 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 8424(d), 8432d, 8432(j), 8433(e), 8435(c)(2), 8474(b)(5) and 8474(c)(1).

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2. Amend § 1651.3 by revising paragraph (c)(3) to read as follows:

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Designation of beneficiary.
* * * * *

(c) * * *

(3) Be signed and properly dated by the participant and signed and properly dated by one witness;

(i) The participant must either sign the form in the presence of the witness or acknowledge his or her signature on the form to the witness;

(ii) All submitted and attached pages of the form must be signed and dated by the participant;

(iii) All submitted and attached pages of the form must be signed and dated by the same witness;

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[FR Doc. 2017-06304 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6760-01-P