A-8865, APRIL 18, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 875

A-8865: Apr 18, 1925

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TO BE PAID RURAL LETTER CARRIERS WHO ARE REQUIRED TO CARRY POUCH MAIL TO INTERMEDIATE POST OFFICES OR FOR INTERSECTING LOOP ROUTES. IS AN ALLOWANCE AND IS NOT SUBJECT TO RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS AS A PART OF THE BASIC SALARY. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 31. ALLOW AND PAY ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO RURAL LETTER CARRIERS WHO ARE REQUIRED TO CARRY POUCH MAIL TO INTERMEDIATE POST OFFICES. SUCH COMPENSATION NOT TO EXCEED THE SUM OF $12 PER ANNUM FOR EACH MILE SUCH CARRIER IS REQUIRED TO CARRY SUCH POUCH OR POUCHES.'. QUESTION HAS NOW ARISEN WHETHER OR NOT ALLOWANCES MADE TO RURAL CARRIERS UNDER THIS PROVISION ARE SUBJECT TO A DEDUCTION OF 2 1/2 PERCENT ON ACCOUNT OF THE RETIREMENT FUND. I HAVE TO REQUEST THAT YOU CONSIDER THIS QUESTION AND ADVISE ME AS TO YOUR DECISION IN RESPECT TO IT.

A-8865, APRIL 18, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 875

RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS - POUCH-MAIL ALLOWANCE TO RURAL CARRIERS THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF JULY 28, 1916, 39 STAT. 425, TO BE PAID RURAL LETTER CARRIERS WHO ARE REQUIRED TO CARRY POUCH MAIL TO INTERMEDIATE POST OFFICES OR FOR INTERSECTING LOOP ROUTES, IS AN ALLOWANCE AND IS NOT SUBJECT TO RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS AS A PART OF THE BASIC SALARY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, APRIL 18, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 31, 1925, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1920, CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISION:

"THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY, IN HIS DISCRETION, ALLOW AND PAY ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO RURAL LETTER CARRIERS WHO ARE REQUIRED TO CARRY POUCH MAIL TO INTERMEDIATE POST OFFICES, OR FOR INTERSECTING LOOP ROUTES, IN ALL CASES WHERE IT APPEARS THAT THE CARRIAGE OF SUCH POUCHES INCREASES THE EXPENSE OF THE EQUIPMENT REQUIRED BY THE CARRIER OR MATERIALLY INCREASES THE AMOUNT OF LABOR PERFORMED BY HIM, SUCH COMPENSATION NOT TO EXCEED THE SUM OF $12 PER ANNUM FOR EACH MILE SUCH CARRIER IS REQUIRED TO CARRY SUCH POUCH OR POUCHES.'

QUESTION HAS NOW ARISEN WHETHER OR NOT ALLOWANCES MADE TO RURAL CARRIERS UNDER THIS PROVISION ARE SUBJECT TO A DEDUCTION OF 2 1/2 PERCENT ON ACCOUNT OF THE RETIREMENT FUND.

I HAVE TO REQUEST THAT YOU CONSIDER THIS QUESTION AND ADVISE ME AS TO YOUR DECISION IN RESPECT TO IT.

THE PROVISION YOU QUOTE IS NOT FOUND IN THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1920, AS YOU STATE, BUT IN THE ACT OF JULY 28, 1916, 39 STAT. 423. THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT THEREBY AUTHORIZED FOR RURAL CARRIERS WHO ARE REQUIRED TO CARRY POUCH MAIL IS AN ALLOWANCE INTENDED AS A COMMUTATION TO COVER THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE OF EQUIPMENT AND FOR ADDITIONAL PHYSICAL LABOR. THE GRANTING OF THE ALLOWANCE IS NOT AN INCREASE IN THE BASIC SALARY OF THE CARRIER NOR DOES IT CHANGE THE GRADE OF DESIGNATION OF THE CARRIER. COMP. GEN. 925.

RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS UNDER SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1920, 41 STAT. 618, ARE REQUIRED TO BE COMPUTED ON THE "BASIC SALARY, PAY, OR COMPENSATION" OF THE EMPLOYEE, AND SECTION 2, ID. PAGE 615, PROVIDES:

THE TERM "BASIC SALARY, PAY, OR COMPENSATION" WHEREVER USED IN THIS ACT SHALL BE SO CONSTRUED AS TO EXCLUDE FROM THE OPERATION OF THE ACT ALL BONUSES, ALLOWANCES, OVERTIME PAY, OR SALARY, PAY, OR COMPENSATION GIVEN IN ADDITION TO THE BASE PAY OF THE POSITIONS AS FIXED BY LAW OR REGULATION.

THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT PAYABLE TO RURAL CARRIERS HANDLING POUCH MAIL UNDER THE CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE ACT OF JULY 28, 1916, SUPRA, IS AN ALLOWANCE AND IS NOT SUBJECT TO RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS. 27 COMP. DEC. 152 AND DECISION OF MARCH 14, 1925, A-8391, QUESTION AND ANSWER 3.