Frequently asked questions from investors

Most asked questions:

  • How do I establish online access?

    Establishing online account access only takes a few minutes. All you need is the account number from your statement and social security number (SSN) of the primary account holder.
  • How do I open an account?

    Working with a financial professional is key to successful financial planning. With your financial professional's help, complete the appropriate Putnam Investments account application.
    • To learn more about finding a financial professional, see how to find an advisor.

      For non-retirement accounts, use this form, for IRA/Roth IRA, use this form and mail it to the address indicated. Once your account is established, use your account number to set up online account access, which allows you to view and manage your account(s) online.
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  • How do I update an address?

    You can update your account address online, by mail, or by phone:
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  • How do I update my beneficiary information?

    Beneficiary information can be updated by mailing this form.
  • Why establish online access?

    By logging into the Individual Investor site, you have access to the Account Summary and, upon selecting a registration, the Daily Statements page. From this page you can:

    • View your account balance: The Daily Statements page displays share price, share balance, and current value.

      Change your account options: Select "Account options" in the left-hand nav to change account options for available accounts or get forms to set up account options.

      Update your address: Select "Address change" in the left-hand nav then select the desired registration. Update address, select continue and then choose either "Keep entered" or "Accept address" under preferred address.

      View/Print Tax Forms: Select "Tax information" in the left-hand nav. Select the desired tax form to display the form as a PDF.

      View/Print Statements: Select "Confirmations and statements" in the left-hand nav. Click to view PDFs of confirmations or statements listed from the drop-down menu.

      Suppress Mailings: Select "Mailing options" in the left-hand nav. Select your preferred settings and enter a valid email address. You have the option to receive account balance by email either daily, weekly or monthly. At the bottom of the page, check off the eDelivery Terms and Conditions box and click Submit.

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  • How do I log in as a new user?

    From the home page, click the "Need Password" link on the home page tool bar. Follow the prompts to establish access.

    • To establish online access via the phone, please call 1-800-225-1581 Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

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  • How do I purchase shares for an existing account?

    Your financial professional is a great resource for additional share purchases and other account transactions. He or she can offer advice and ensure your decisions fit your long-term financial plan. To learn more about finding a financial professional, see how to find an advisor.
    • You may also purchase shares by mail:

      • Include your account number and mail your check to:
        • Regular U.S. Postal Service:
          • Putnam Investments
            P.O. Box 8383
            Boston, MA 02266-8383
        • Overnight:
          • Putnam Investments
            30 Dan Road
            Canton, MA 02021

      To set up a systematic investment option, use this form and mail it to the appropriate address above.

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  • How do I exchange shares?

    Log into the Individual Investor site with your ID and password. From the Account Summary page, select the desired registration. The Daily Statements page will display. Select “Exchanges” in the left-hand nav.
      1. Select the desired registration.
      2. From the Select Accounting Method drop-down, select whether to exchange a specific dlilar amount, a specific number of shares, a percentage, or all shares. Once selected, enter the appropriate number in the Amount field. Click Continue.

        Note: If you are exchanging into a new fund, select the appropriate fund from the New Fund Investments drop-down window. The system will create that fund with the new account number.

      3. Select the account to which the exchange will be and fill in the appropriate exchange amount. Click Continue.
      4. The Update systematic options will display. If there are systematics (exchanges, purchase, or redemptions) on the "from" fund, you will be asked if you would like them carried over to the "to" fund. Click Continue.
      5. The Update distribution options page will display. Make updates, if needed, to any new accounts. The default for dividends and capital gains is to reinvest. Click Continue.
      6. The Exchange summary page will display. Review the details and click Continue.
      7. The Exchange confirmation page will appear. A transaction reference number will appear at the bottom of the page.
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  • How do I redeem shares?

    You should always talk to your financial professional before selling shares. He or she can offer advice and help you make decisions that fit your long-term financial plan. To learn more about finding a financial professional, see how to find an advisor.
    • You can sell shares by:

      • Contacting your Financial Advisor
      • Mailing a form:
        • For non-retirement accounts, use this form
        • For IRA/Roth accounts, use this form
        • Call 1-800-225-1581
          8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
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  • How do I transfer an account?

    You can transfer your account to a new or existing account by mail:
      • Contacting your Financial Advisor
      • Mailing form:
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Other common questions:

  • What does "certification" mean?
    • Certification is a stamp or raised seal placed on a copy of a legal document to confirm that the document is a true and correct copy of the original and that it is still in full force and effect.

      There are two primary types of certification:

      • Court certifications are provided by a court and only apply to documents that are issued by the court. Examples include letters testamentary, settlements of small estates, letters of appointment of guardianships and conservators, and divorce decrees.
      • Non-court certifications vary depending on the type of non-court document being certified. A Medallion Program signature guarantee (see definition below) or an attorney certification letter may be acceptable to certify certain non-court documents. Examples include corporate resolutions, powers of attorney, and trust agreements.
  • What is a notary public?
    • A notary public is a person authorized by the state in which the person resides to administer oaths (swearing to the truth of a statement) and take acknowledgments. A notary signature and seal/stamp are required for executing certain legal documents such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc. Notaries do not provide financial indemnification in the event of fraud or forgery and therefore are not acceptable in lieu of a signature guarantee to redeem or transfer shares.

  • What is a signature guarantee?
    • A signature guarantee is a stamp provided by a financial institution warranting that an individual's signature is genuine. The guarantor accepts financial liability in the event of fraud or forgery.

      Putnam accepts signature guarantees from:

      • Securities broker/dealers, commercial banks, federally chartered savings institutions, and federally chartered credit unions
      • Trust companies, state chartered savings institutions, and credit unions

      By guaranteeing the signature, the guarantor warrants that at the time of signing:

      • The signer signed the document, and the signature was genuine.
      • A signature guarantee has an unlimited dollar liability, unlike a Medallion Program signature guarantee.
  • What is a Medallion Program signature guarantee?
    • A Medallion Program signature guarantee is a stamp provided by a financial institution or a broker/dealer warranting that an individual's signature is valid. Putnam accepts Medallion Program signature guarantees in place of traditional signature guarantees and certain forms of certification for non-court documents. Putnam does not accept dated medallion guarantees.

      • Each Medallion Program member has a specific liability limit per transaction, which is indicated by the letter that precedes the FINS (Financial Institutions Numbering System) number on the Medallion Program guarantee (for example, in A0123456, "A" indicates that the guarantor may guarantee any transaction up to $1,000,000).
        Prefix Letter Liability limit per transaction
        Z $10,000,000
        Y $5,000,000
        X $2,000,000
        A $1,000,000
        B $750,000
        C $500,000
        D $250,000
        E $100,000
        F $100,000 (credit unions only)
  • What is a power of attorney?
    • Power of attorney is a document that appoints one or more persons as agents (or "attorney in fact") to act on behalf of the "maker" or "principal".

      There are two types of powers of attorney acceptable to Putnam:

      • Normal power of attorney (POA) is voided if the grantor becomes incapacitated or dies.
      • A "durable" power of attorney (POA) remains in effect if the grantor becomes incapacitated, but is voided if the grantor dies.

      Putnam only accepts a certified POA within 90 days of the certification to ensure the document has not been revoked and that the POA maker is still alive.

      Note: A "health-care power of attorney" may not be used to act on accounts in the Putnam funds.

  • What are my options to move retirement assets?
    • There are a number of options for moving retirement assets from one institution to another and from one plan to another, such as trustee-to-trustee transfers and direct rollovers and indirect (60-day) rollovers. Information specific to retirement plans offered by Putnam may be found in each plan's disclosure statement. Please consult your financial or tax advisor for more information as to which options may be available to you.
  • Is Putnam required to withhold taxes on distributions from non-qualified retirement plans?
    • Non-qualified plan types:

      • IRA
      • IRA rollover
      • Roth IRA
      • Roth IRA conversion
      • Salary reduction employee pension plan (SARSEP)
      • SIMPLE IRA
      • Simplified employee pension plan (SEP)

      Generally, all distributions are considered taxable income for the tax year in which they are processed and will be reported on Form 1099-R. Only after-tax contributions can be redeemed without tax liability, but IRS regulations state that distributions must be a proportionate mix of both after-tax and pretax contributions.

      A 10% federal tax withholding is required on all distributions from non-qualified retirement plans except Roth IRA plans, unless the shareholder specifies to "opt out" of withholding. Shareholders who are U.S. citizens but do not live in the United States and/or those who have not provided a tax identification number cannot opt out of tax withholding.

      Exception: U.S. citizens with a U.S. residence having a special mailing address outside the country may opt out of tax withholding if a tax ID has been provided.

      In addition, Putnam withholds state taxes on retirement distributions for residents who live in a state that requires state income tax to be withheld when federal income tax is withheld.

      For more information regarding the tax consequences of a distribution from any retirement plan, please consult your financial or tax advisor.

  • Can Putnam provide financial, legal, or tax advice?
    • No. For advice on these topics, please consult with your financial advisor, attorney, or accountant.

  • Can Putnam recommend a financial advisor?
    • Putnam believes that every investor should work with a financial advisor. However, we do not recommend specific individuals. See our guidelines on how to find an advisor.

  • Do I need a financial advisor?
    • In a world of rapidly changing markets — and thousands of mutual funds from which to choose — a full-service financial representative is an invaluable resource for investors. A financial representative can help you narrow your investment options to those that are most suited to you. Even the most experienced investors benefit from the comprehensive research, timely information, and expertise that a financial professional can provide.

      Putnam recommends that you work with a financial advisor. Although Putnam funds are primarily sold through financial advisors, Putnam does not require that you have an advisor listed on your account.

  • What are the available share classes?
    • The various share classes and their respective sales charges and eligibility criteria are outlined in the prospectus for each of the Putnam funds. Please refer to the prospectus for more detailed information. As always, we recommend that you consult with your financial representative to determine the appropriate investment for you.

  • Does Putnam report cost basis to the IRS?
    • Cost basis is the cost of shares you purchase, including reinvested dividends and capital gains distributions. The cost may be adjusted for any applicable sales charges or transaction fees. When you sell shares in a taxable account, the cost basis accounting method you choose helps determine how your gain or loss is calculated.

      For many years, Putnam has provided cost basis information as a service to shareholders, but did not report this information to the IRS. Beginning with the 2012 tax year, IRS regulations require mutual funds to:

      • Report cost basis information to shareholders and the IRS on Form 1099-B
      • Choose a default cost basis method if a shareholder does not elect a specific method

      The new regulations apply to shares of mutual funds purchased in certain accounts on or after January 1, 2012 (covered shares), and subsequently sold or exchanged from the account. The regulations do not require mutual fund companies to report cost basis for shares purchased prior to January 1, 2012 (non-covered shares), and do not apply to shares in retirement plan accounts, education savings plan accounts, or money market funds.

      Putnam has elected to use Average Cost (ACST) as its default cost basis reporting method; however, shareholders will be allowed to choose a different method or change their existing method. The other available methods are:

      • First In, First Out (FIFO)
      • High Cost, First Out (HIFO)
      • Last In, First Out (LIFO)
      • Loss/Gain Utilization (LGUT)
      • Low Cost, First Out (LOFO)
      • Specific Lot Identification (SLID)

      For more information visit

  • Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to open an account?
    • Putnam funds accept investments from legal residents of the United States who can provide a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number that Putnam can independently verify. Putnam funds generally do not accept investments from non-U.S. persons who do not have a residential address within the United States.

  • What is the $15 to $25 redemption from my educational/retirement account?
    • As disclosed in your Putnam retirement plan and disclosure statement, Putnam assesses annual fees for retirement accounts for which Putnam Fiduciary Trust Company acts as directed trustee. These fees are assessed in January of each year and will show as redemption on your summary statement. The fee is not a taxable distribution.