[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 183 (Friday, September 20, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 57807-57808]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22894]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 183 / Friday, September 20, 2013 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 57807]]



FEDERAL RETIREMENT THRIFT INVESTMENT BOARD

5 CFR Part 1651


Aged Beneficiary Designation Forms

AGENCY: Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

ACTION: Proposed rule with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (Agency) 
proposes to amend its regulations to provide that a beneficiary 
designation form is valid only if it is received by the TSP record-
keeper not more than one year after date of the participant's 
signature.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 21, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments using one of the following methods:
     Mail: Office of General Counsel, James B. Petrick, Federal 
Retirement Thrift Investment Board, 77 K Street NE., 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurissa Stokes at 202-942-1645.

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 and members of the uniformed services. 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)).

Background

    Prior to 1995, active Federal employees submitted TSP beneficiary 
designation forms to the personnel office at their employing agency. 
Upon a participant's death or separation from service, the employing 
agency would forward the participant's beneficiary designation form to 
the TSP record-keeper.
    Beginning on January 1, 1995, the Agency required all TSP 
participants to mail or fax beneficiary designation forms directly to 
the TSP record-keeper. In addition to requiring all participants to 
submit beneficiary designation forms directly to the TSP record-keeper, 
the new policy of direct receipt by the TSP record-keeper required 
employing agencies to search their personnel records and forward all 
beneficiary designation forms then in their possession to the TSP 
record-keeper immediately. The TSP communicated the new policy in two 
bulletins sent to agency representatives and in three separate mailings 
sent directly to participants.
    The TSP codified the policy of direct receipt by the TSP record-
keeper in regulations on June 13, 1997 (62 FR 32426). All beneficiary 
designation forms in an employing agency's possession should have been 
forwarded to the TSP record-keeper before June 13, 1997. Nevertheless, 
employing agencies continue to forward to the TSP record-keeper 
beneficiary designation forms that are sometimes decades old.
    These aged forms often do not reflect the participant's current 
intent. Under the current regulations, if otherwise valid, the Agency 
must honor these aged forms, and when the Agency processes these forms, 
participants often become confused and believe their accounts have been 
accessed fraudulently. Further, if a participant passes away after the 
Agency has received an aged beneficiary designation form but prior to 
clarifying his/her current intent, the Agency must honor the old form 
even though it does not reflect the participant's intent.
    The Agency, therefore, proposes to amend its regulations to provide 
that a beneficiary designation form is valid only if it is received by 
the TSP record-keeper not more than 365 calendar days after the date of 
the participant's signature on the form.

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 employees and members of the uniformed services 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.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 1651

    Claims, Government employees, Pensions, Retirement.

Gregory T. Long,
Executive Director, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

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

PART 1651--DEATH BENEFITS

0
1. The authority citation for part 1651 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. Amend Sec.  1651.3 by amending paragraph (c)(6) to remove ``and'', 
by amending paragraph (c)(7) to remove the period and add ``; and'', by 
amending paragraph (c)(8) to remove the period and add ``; and'', and 
by adding paragraph (c)(9) to read as follows:


Sec.  1651.3  Designation of beneficiary.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *

[[Page 57808]]

    (9) Be received by the TSP record-keeper not more than 365 calendar 
days after the date of the participant's signature.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-22894 Filed 9-19-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6760-01-P