Thanks for your response. Hope you had a fun holiday.

Hmm..that's odd. Yeah, I've read the TSM redbook. My retention settings are in line with what they recommend and are infact more 'aggressive' than yours. Wonder why they still don't get purged!

Few more questions :
1) Can you do a "select * from backups where NODE_NAME='YOURNODE';" in TSM? Do you see any old entries beyond your expected retentions?

2) The STATE of a backup changes from ACTIVE_VERSION to INACTIVE_VERSION when you issue a delete from RMAN. What's the corresponding DEACTIVATE_DATE on these INACTIVE_VERSION records?

3) Does the INACTIVE_VERSION record get completely erased after you expire inventory?

The IBM guys are clueless about RMAN. I haven't made any headway through IBM Support. Thanks for your time again.