Frequently asked questions from investors

  • 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.