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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I have a small amount of money in my government Thrift Saving

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I have a small amount of money in my government Thrift Saving Plan (TSP)...as you probably know, this is essentially the federal government's version of a 401K. I have been notified that some of my personal information has been compromised and told that TSP is NOT responsible if my money is "stolen." Is this true - what happens if my money is somehow stolen?

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns. I believe that I have assisted you in the past.

What you are being told is NOT true. If an agency or entity lost your information, or had that information taken by a third party, if that occurred due to their negligence, you can still file suit for your losses. It is somewhat harder to sue a governmental entity as there is a risk that they are covered under 'sovereign immunity', but if the violation is beyond the scope of general immunity and there is a personal injury in place (and losing money belonging to you would certainly count as a 'personal' injury), you would be able to consider suit against them for the loss. The better claim would be against the identity thief if you can find him, but you likewise can demand that the SP admins cover your losses in this case.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


If I understand you correctly, you seem to suggest I can sue for negligence...but what constitutes negligence....also, if a TSP check (for monies stolen) was cashed at a bank, would the bank be negligence? In any event, any remedy seems to require legal action - is that correct. It is NOT, for example, the case that TSP would simply replenish my account - this that what you are saying?

Donald,

Thank you for your follow-up. That is correct, you can sue for negligence but ONLY if you suffer some sort of loss. This is a situation where you first have to show that you did get money stolen, and then prove that it was directly based on their failure to keep your data and information secure, which is a fiduciary violation. To prove negligence you must show that they had a duty to you, they failed in that duty, an due to that failure (causation) you suffered losses. A stolen check is not the same as that ended up happening outside of TSP (unless they permitted an adress change without notifying you first). But yes, it would require legal action to remedy. TSP would not replenish the account, it would be up to you to prove that the entity was directly negligent in allowing someone else to get the funds.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Final questions..... If money is "stolen" would it not be "easy" to prove in your view? Also, I am guessing that a private account would work the same way with respect to the law (that is, I am no safer transferring money to say, Fidelity, or some other broker except to say I would be suing a private company and not the gov't - which would be to my advantage, if any)?

Donald,

That is not 'easy' to prove. The fact that funds, for example, did not go into your own account is not yet indicative of theft. Furthermore, there is as yet no indication the plan is liable since a third party could have intercepted the check without any identity theft (for example a postal service employee or a stranger could have taken the check and cashed it at a third party cash checking location with fraudulent ID, which would not then be due to the behavior of the plan itself). A private account in some ways would be safer--there is no sovereign immunity to worry about, and depending on the conditions you could seek punitive damages and not just direct losses, something you cannot pursue from the government.

Good lcuk.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Sorry...perhaps I did not phrase my last question very well. With respect to my comment "easy to proof," I was only referring to money that is already in account and then stolen...for ex, say, I wake up one morning and notice that $2,000 is "missing" --- and I call TSP and they say they have no idea what happened to the 2K....I take it my only recourse would be legal action....just want to be clear...thanks!

Donald,

Oh, I see, sorry for misunderstanding. That is 'easier' to prove--the reason is because any change in dollar amount should be based on some sort of record or history of withdrawal, or a change in investment. So yes, it is possible to prove and demand that the funds be returned if there is no evidence anywhere of an outside disbursement request.

Good luck!

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