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My father died about a month ago. I'm trying to understand how certain types of inherited retirement accounts work, but I haven't had a lot of success with finding a clear answer.

My father retired 5 years ago (at age 62) as a high school principal in New York City, with Tier 2 benefits. In addition to his pension, he also had a Tax-Deferred Annuity through the NYC Teacher's Retirement System, and a traditional IRA through Vanguard. He had not begun taking RMDs from the IRA, and I have no evidence to suggest that he had taken withdrawals from the TDA or annuitized any part of it.

From what I have been able to determine, the TDA is another name for a 403(b) account, which in turn holds several annuity contracts within it. The NYC TRS website is badly constructed and difficult to understand, so I'm not 100% clear about this. (It seems to mainly focus issues related to pensions, rather than the TDA.)

My sisters and I are listed as beneficiaries for these retirement accounts. I have no interest in maintaining the TDA with NYC, and would rather consolidate the funds with Vanguard, if possible.

My question is: Is it possible to take my inherited portion of the TDA, convert it to an inherited IRA, and then combine that inherited IRA into one account with the inherited IRA already at Vanguard? I think the answer is "Yes", but I can't really tell.

Any help in understanding how all this works would be enormously helpful.

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