A-42382, JUNE 13, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 481

A-42382: Jun 13, 1932

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THE ENTIRE ACCREDITED SERVICE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS AN ENTITY WHEN ADJUDICATING CLAIMS FOR REFUND OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS UPON A SUBSEQUENT SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE OTHER THAN FOR RETIREMENT. IS MATERIAL IN DETERMINING. STROPE WAS EMPLOYED JULY 1. TO BE MAINTAINED BY THE DEPARTMENT OR OFFICE BY WHICH HE IS EMPLOYED AND THE AMOUNTS DEDUCTED AND WITHHELD FROM THE BASIC SALARY. WAS REFUNDABLE TO THIS EMPLOYEE UNDER THESE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE. THERE WAS REFUNDED THE $1 PER MONTH COVERING THE FIRST PERIOD OF SERVICE FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEE INVOLUNTARILY SEPARATED BECAUSE OF REDUCTION OF FORCE. IT IS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED THAT TO RECEIVE BENEFITS OF RETIREMENT AN EMPLOYEE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE WHO IS REINSTATED OR REEMPLOYED.

A-42382, JUNE 13, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 481

RETIREMENT - CIVILIAN - DISPOSITION OF TONTINE COVERING TWO PERIODS OF SERVICE WHEN AN EMPLOYEE UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE DOES NOT WITHDRAW THE DEDUCTIONS FROM COMPENSATION TO HIS CREDIT IN THE CIVIL-SERVICE RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY FUND, OR IF WITHDRAWN SUBSEQUENTLY DEPOSITS THEM UPON REENTERING THE SERVICE, THE ENTIRE ACCREDITED SERVICE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS AN ENTITY WHEN ADJUDICATING CLAIMS FOR REFUND OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS UPON A SUBSEQUENT SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE OTHER THAN FOR RETIREMENT, AND THE CHARACTER OF THE LAST SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, ONLY, IS MATERIAL IN DETERMINING, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 12 (A) AND (B) OF THE CIVIL RETIREMENT ACT AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 29, 1930, 46 STAT. 476, WHETHER THE $1 PER MONTH, OR TONTINE, SHOULD BE REFUNDED TO THE EMPLOYEE OR RETAINED AND LEFT TO THE CREDIT OF THE RETIREMENT FUND.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, JUNE 13, 1932:

IN THE AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF J.B. SCHOMMER, DISBURSING CLERK, VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, EXCEPTION HAS BEEN TAKEN TO SO MUCH OF THE REFUND OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS TO EDITH M. STROPE (CASE R-347666), FORMER KITCHEN HELPER AT THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, DANVILLE, ILL., VOUCHER NO. 7904, DECEMBER, 1931 ACCOUNTS, AS REPRESENTS THETONTINE OF $1 PER MONTH COVERING SERVICE FROM JULY 1, 1930 TO MARCH 16, 1931. OF $1 PER MONTH CONVERING SERVICE FROM JULY 1, 1930, TO MARCH 6, 1931.

EDITH M. STROPE WAS EMPLOYED JULY 1, 1930, INVOLUNTARILY SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE MARCH 16, 1931, BECAUSE OF REDUCTION OF FORCE, REEMPLOYED, JUNE 12, 1931, FROM WHICH SERVICE SHE VOLUNTARILY RESIGNED NOVEMBER 7, 1931.

SECTION 12 (A) AND (B) OF THE CIVIL RETIREMENT ACT AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 29, 1930, 46 STAT. 476, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

(A) UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION THE AMOUNTS DEDUCTED AND WITHHELD FROM THE BASIC SALARY, PAY, OR COMPENSATION OF EACH EMPLOYEE FOR CREDIT TO THE "CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY FUND" CREATED BY THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1920, COVERING SERVICE DURING THE PERIOD FROM AUGUST 1, 1920, TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT, SHALL BE CREDITED TO AN INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT OF SUCH EMPLOYEE, TO BE MAINTAINED BY THE DEPARTMENT OR OFFICE BY WHICH HE IS EMPLOYED AND THE AMOUNTS DEDUCTED AND WITHHELD FROM THE BASIC SALARY, PAY, OR COMPENSATION OF EACH EMPLOYEE FOR CREDIT TO THE "CIVIL-SERVICE RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY FUND" COVERING SERVICE FROM AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT, LESS THE SUM OF $1 PER MONTH OR MAJOR FRACTION THEREOF, SHALL SIMILARLY BE CREDITED TO SUCH INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT.

(B) IN THE CASE OF ANY EMPLOYEE TO WHOM THIS ACT APPLIES WHO SHALL BE TRANSFERRED TO A POSITION NOT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ACT, OR WHO SHALL BECOME ABSOLUTELY SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE BEFORE BECOMING ELIGIBLE FOR RETIREMENT ON ANNUITY, THE AMOUNT CREDITED TO HIS INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT SHALL BE RETURNED TO SUCH EMPLOYEE TOGETHER WITH INTEREST AT 4 PERCENTUM PER ANNUM COMPOUNDED ON JUNE 30 OF EACH YEAR: PROVIDED, THAT WHEN ANY EMPLOYEE BECOMES INVOLUNTARILY SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE, NOT BY REMOVAL FOR CAUSE ON CHARGES OF MISCONDUCT OR DELINQUENCY, THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF HIS DEDUCTIONS WITH INTEREST THEREON SHALL BE PAID TO SUCH EMPLOYEE: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT ALL MONEY SO RETURNED TO AN EMPLOYEE MUST, UPON REINSTATEMENT, RETRANSFER, OR REAPPOINTMENT TO A POSITION COMING WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THIS ACT, BE REDEPOSITED WITH INTEREST BEFORE SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY DERIVE ANY BENEFITS UNDER THIS ACT, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION, BUT INTEREST SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED COVERING ANY PERIOD OF SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE.

IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE $1 PER MONTH, OR TONTINE, WAS REFUNDABLE TO THIS EMPLOYEE UNDER THESE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONSIDERED THE TWO PERIODS OF SERVICE AS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM EACH OTHER, AND THERE WAS REFUNDED THE $1 PER MONTH COVERING THE FIRST PERIOD OF SERVICE FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEE INVOLUNTARILY SEPARATED BECAUSE OF REDUCTION OF FORCE, THERE BEING RETAINED BY THE GOVERNMENT ONLY THE $1 PER MONTH COVERING THE PERIOD OF SERVICE FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEES VOLUNTARILY RESIGNED.

THERE APPEARS NO BASIS IN THE LAW FOR SUCH AN APPLICATION OF THE STATUTE. ALL PERIODS OF ACCREDITED SERVICE, WHETHER CONTINUOUS OR NOT, MAY BE INCLUDED IN COMPUTING LONGEVITY UNDER THE CIVIL RETIREMENT ACT, AND IT IS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED THAT TO RECEIVE BENEFITS OF RETIREMENT AN EMPLOYEE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE WHO IS REINSTATED OR REEMPLOYED, SHALL RETURN THE RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS PREVIOUSLY REFUNDED WITH INTEREST BEFORE SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY DERIVE ANY BENEFITS UNDER THE ACT, WITH CERTAIN

EXCEPTIONS NOT HER INVOLVED. THEREFORE, WHEN AN EMPLOYEE UPON SEPARATION DOES NOT WITHDRAW THE DEDUCTIONS OR IF WITHDRAWN SUBSEQUENTLY DEPOSITS THEM UPON REENTERING THE SERVICE, THE ENTIRE ACCREDITED SERVICE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS AN ENTITY WHEN ADJUDICATING CLAIMS FOR REFUND OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS UPON A SUBSEQUENT SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE OTHER THAN FOR RETIREMENT, AND THE CHARACTER OF THE LAST SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, ONLY, IS MATERIAL IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE $1 PER MONTH, OR TONTINE, SHOULD BE REFUNDED TO THE EMPLOYEE OR RETAINED AND LEFT TO THE CREDIT OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY FUND. FOR INSTANCE, IN THIS CASE, AS EDITH M. STROPE CAME WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RETIREMENT ACT UNDER HER SECOND PERIOD OF SERVICE OR EMPLOYMENT, THE CHARACTER OF HER LAST SEPARATION, OR VOLUNTARY RESIGNATION, ONLY, SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING THE DISPOSITION OF THE $1 PER MONTH, OR TONTINE,ON WHICH BASIS REFUND TO HER OF THE $1 PER MONTH COVERING SERVICE FROM JULY 1, 1930, TO MARCH 16, 1931, SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE MISAPPLICATION OF THE STATUTE, THIS PAYMENT AS WELL AS OTHER SIMILAR PAYMENTS HERETOFORE MADE, WILL NOT NOW BE FURTHER QUESTIONED IN THE AUDIT, BUT ADJUSTMENTS HEREAFTER SHOULD BE MADE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THIS DECISION.