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When to Send TRS a Power of Attorney Document

When members have other people making important decisions for them under a power of attorney (POA) document, TRS needs to know when they designate their POA agents to start making decisions. TRS also needs to know the identities of these POA agents. From time to time, TRS staff is confronted with a situation where a member’s important decisions about their retirement benefits are being made by another person under a POA, but TRS has not been told that the POA is in force or how to contact the agent. This situation can lead to a delay in implementing important decisions on TRS benefits or health insurance coverage.

You do not need to send TRS a copy of your power of attorney document if you are handling your own retirement plan affairs. If you have designated someone – your agent – to handle retirement plan transactions for you as your POA and you wish that agent to be able to make changes to your TRS account on your behalf, then you or your agent must send a copy of the power of attorney document to TRS, along with the agent’s contact information and the current address of the member.

Power of attorney documents and the authority granted by these documents vary from state to state. To be clear, TRS is only able to honor a power of attorney that specifically gives your designated agent the authority to act on your behalf concerning retirement plan transactions. TRS cannot honor a power of attorney for health care or any other purpose that does not specifically authorize the agent to handle retirement plan transactions for you.

You should be aware that once TRS has a power of attorney on your TRS record, your agent becomes your “alternate contact,” which means all mailings and communications will be sent to that agent. If you wish to continue to receive your TRS mailings, please notify us when you send in the power of attorney document.