A-43751, AUGUST 9, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 212

A-43751: Aug 9, 1932

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ECONOMY ACT - RETIREMENT AFTER 15 YEARS' SERVICE IN LIEU OF ADMINISTRATIVE FURLOUGH THE DIRECTION TO ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS IN SECTION 216 OF THE ECONOMY ACT TO FURLOUGH EMPLOYEES WITHOUT PAY RATHER THAN TO DISCHARGE THEM WAS INTENDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEES. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO SECTION 216 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30. AMONG THE INDEFINITE FURLOUGHS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE IN THIS DEPARTMENT. ARE A FEW EMPLOYEES WHO ARE OVER 55 YEARS OF AGE AND HAVE RENDERED MORE THAN 15 YEARS OF SERVICE. HAVING A VALUE EQUAL TO THE PRESENT WORTH OF A DEFERRED ANNUITY BEGINNING AT THE AGE AT WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR SUPERANNUATION RETIREMENT COMPUTED AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT.

A-43751, AUGUST 9, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 212

ECONOMY ACT - RETIREMENT AFTER 15 YEARS' SERVICE IN LIEU OF ADMINISTRATIVE FURLOUGH THE DIRECTION TO ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS IN SECTION 216 OF THE ECONOMY ACT TO FURLOUGH EMPLOYEES WITHOUT PAY RATHER THAN TO DISCHARGE THEM WAS INTENDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEES. ACCORDINGLY, IN CASE THE INVOLUNTARY SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE REQUIRED BY REASON OF INADEQUATE APPROPRIATIONS WOULD VEST IN THE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT BENEFITS UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE CIVIL RETIREMENT ACT, THE EMPLOYEES MAY BE DISCHARGED RATHER THAN FURLOUGHED WITHOUT PAY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 9, 1932:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 30, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO SECTION 216 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, RELATING TO ADMINISTRATIVE FURLOUGHS OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.

AMONG THE INDEFINITE FURLOUGHS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE IN THIS DEPARTMENT, IN ORDER TO KEEP WITHIN THE APPROPRIATIONS, ALL IN THE FIELD SERVICE, ARE A FEW EMPLOYEES WHO ARE OVER 55 YEARS OF AGE AND HAVE RENDERED MORE THAN 15 YEARS OF SERVICE, AND WHO WOULD, IF INVOLUNTARILY SEPARATED, BE ELIGIBLE FOR AN IMMEDIATE ANNUITY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7, SUBSECTION (B), OF THE RETIREMENT ACT. IF THESE EMPLOYEES WOULD PREFER SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, RATHER THAN TO BE FURLOUGHED INDEFINITELY, CAN THE DEPARTMENT LEGALLY TERMINATE THEIR SERVICES?

SECTION 7 OF THE CIVIL RETIREMENT ACT OF MAY 29, 1930, 46 STAT. 474, PROVIDES:

SHOULD ANY EMPLOYEE FIFTY-FIVE YEARS OF AGE OR OVER TO WHOM THIS ACT APPLIES, AFTER HAVING SERVED FOR A TOTAL PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN FIFTEEN YEARS AND BEFORE BECOMING ELIGIBLE FOR RETIREMENT UNDER THE CONDITIONS DEFINED IN SECTION 1 HEREOF, BECOME INVOLUNTARILY SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE, NOT BY REMOVAL FOR CAUSE ON CHARGES OF MISCONDUCT OR DELINQUENCY, SUCH EMPLOYEE SHALL BE PAID AS HE OR SHE MAY ELECT, EITHER---

(A) THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF HIS DEDUCTIONS WITH INTEREST THEREON; OR

(B) AN IMMEDIATE LIFE ANNUITY BEGINNING AT THE DATE OF SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, HAVING A VALUE EQUAL TO THE PRESENT WORTH OF A DEFERRED ANNUITY BEGINNING AT THE AGE AT WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR SUPERANNUATION RETIREMENT COMPUTED AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT; * * *

SECTION 216 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 407, PROVIDES:

IN ORDER TO KEEP WITHIN THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, THE HEADS OF THE VARIOUS EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO FURLOUGH, WITHOUT PAY, SUCH EMPLOYEES CARRIED ON THEIR RESPECTIVE ROLLS, SUCH TIME AS IN THEIR JUDGMENT IS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT SAID PURPOSE WITHOUT DISCHARGING SUCH EMPLOYEES, THE HIGHER SALARIED TO BE FURLOUGHED FIRST WHENEVER POSSIBLE WITHOUT INJURY TO THE SERVICE: PROVIDED, THAT RULES AND REGULATIONS SHALL BE PROMULGATED BY THE PRESIDENT WITH A VIEW TO SECURING UNIFORM ACTION BY THE HEADS OF THE VARIOUS EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE APPLICATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.

THE DIRECTION TO ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS IN SECTION 216 OF THE ECONOMY ACT TO FURLOUGH EMPLOYEES WITHOUT PAY RATHER THAN TO DISCHARGE THEM WAS INTENDED SOLELY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEES, AND IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS RENDERING INOPERATIVE ANY OTHER STATUTORY PROVISION UNDER WHICH A DISCHARGE WOULD BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE EMPLOYEE THAN A FURLOUGH WITHOUT PAY. TO HOLD OTHERWISE WOULD DEFEAT THE PLAIN PURPOSE OF THE SECTION.

THEREFORE, IN ANY CASE WHERE AN INVOLUNTARY SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE REQUIRED BY REASON OF INADEQUATE APPROPRIATIONS WOULD VEST IN THE EMPLOYEE SEPARATED RETIREMENT BENEFITS UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE CIVIL RETIREMENT ACT OF MAY 29, 1930, SUPRA, UNDER THE CONDITIONS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, THE EMPLOYEES MAY BE DISCHARGED RATHER THAN FURLOUGHED WITHOUT PAY.