OPM has proposed rules to carry out changes enacted into law regarding “representative payees,” who receive payments such as federal retirement or survivor benefits on behalf of another person, commonly a beneficiary under age 18 or one who is unable to handle their own financial affairs.

Rules in the March 8 Federal Register would clarify that such payments may be made to an institution such as a nursing home as well as to an individual while adding several protections against misuse of funds.


Those protections include: giving OPM authority revoke a payee designation if it determines that a payee has embezzled or converted the annuity payments, and to instead make payments to another payee or directly to the beneficiary; making misuse of benefits by a payee a crime punishable by a fine, up to five years imprisonment or both; making persons who have been convicted of certain crimes ineligible to serve as a payee; and giving OPM authority to suspend payments in certain situations.

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