SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1620. A Beneficiary's Savings

1620.1 How should I handle funds not required for current needs?

You must conserve or invest any funds not required for the beneficiary's current or reasonably foreseeable needs, or for the support of legal dependents. You can set aside part of the funds for definite foreseeable needs such as the beneficiary's education or rehabilitation if disabled.

1620.2 How should I invest funds?

You should place accumulated funds of more than $500 in an interest-yielding account or investment on behalf of the beneficiary. Any interest and dividend payments that result from checking accounts, savings or an investment are the property of the beneficiary and not your property.

1620.3 What investments does SSA prefer?

Preferred investments include:

  1. U.S. Savings Bonds; or

  2. Deposits in an interest or dividend paying account in a bank, trust company, savings and loan association, or credit union that is insured under either Federal or State law.

Otherwise, you may invest funds according to State laws governing the investment of trust estates by trustees.

1620.4 Does the SSA have restrictions on investing funds?

Guidelines for managing the beneficiary's money are as follows:

  1. You may not invest funds in any company, corporation, or association when such an investment will involve you in a conflict of interest;

  2. You should not keep money at home or mingle it with your own money or with other funds; and

  3. You must keep accurate records in order to account for the use of funds.

1620.5 How must I title an investment?

You must title conserved and invested funds in a form that shows you hold the property in trust for the beneficiary. The preferred forms of titling follow:

  1. U.S. Savings Bonds bought for a beneficiary under age 18 - (Name of Beneficiary), (Social Security Number), a minor, for whom (Name of Payee) is representative payee for Social Security funds.

  2. U.S. Savings Bonds bought for a beneficiary age 18 or older - (Name of Beneficiary), (Social Security Number), for whom (Name of Payee) is representative payee for Social Security funds.

  3. Various forms of accounts recognized by banks, trust companies, savings and loan associations, or credit unions as establishing the trust relationship between the beneficiary and the representative payee are acceptable as long as they clearly establish that relationship under the applicable State law.

  4. For a savings or checking account, an acceptable title is (Name of Payee), representative payee for (Name of Beneficiary). A statement such as (Name of Payee) in trust for (Name of Beneficiary) should not be used because some States treat the funds in this type of account as belonging to the representative payee.

Note: The examples listed above are not all-inclusive. You should always consult with the bank to verify that, under State law, the titling of an account:

  1. Shows you only have a fiduciary interest;

  2. Permits you ready access to the funds when needed for the beneficiary's current maintenance; and

  3. Does not permit the beneficiary to have direct access to the funds.

Last Revised: Feb. 13, 2009