B-114207, MARCH 20, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 403

B-114207: Mar 20, 1953

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WHICH AUTHORIZES THE REEMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN RETIRED AFTER 60 YEARS OF AGE. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 13. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED UPON BUREAU VOUCHER NO. 17939. IT IS STATED THAT MR. MULLER WAS RETIRED FOR AGE AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS JANUARY 31. WHICH AUTHORIZES THE REEMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN RETIRED AFTER 60 YEARS OF AGE IF THE APPOINTING AUTHORITY DETERMINES THAT HE POSSESSES SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS. YOUR DOUBT APPEARS TO ARISE WHETHER THIS REEMPLOYMENT AUTHORITY EXTENDS TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN RETIRED AT 70 YEARS OF AGE DUE TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 204 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30. NO PERSON RENDERING CIVILIAN SERVICE IN ANY BRANCH OR SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHO SHALL HAVE REACHED THE RETIREMENT AGE PRESCRIBED FOR AUTOMATIC SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE.

B-114207, MARCH 20, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 403

CIVILIAN RETIREMENT - REEMPLOYMENT AFTER REACHING COMPULSORY RETIREMENT AGE UNDER SECTION 2 (B) OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1948, WHICH AUTHORIZES THE REEMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN RETIRED AFTER 60 YEARS OF AGE, AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS REACHED THE COMPULSORY RETIREMENT AGE OF 70 YEARS MAY BE REEMPLOYED UPON A DETERMINATION BY THE APPOINTING AUTHORITY THAT THE EMPLOYEE POSSESSES SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE POSITION NOTWITHSTANDING THE AUTOMATIC SEPARATION PROVISIONS OF SECTION 204 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO JENNIE K. HUNT, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, MARCH 20, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 13, 1953, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED UPON BUREAU VOUCHER NO. 17939, STATED TO BE ATTACHED, COVERING PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO MR. GEORGE W. MULLER, AN ANNUITANT, FOR THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 1, TO MARCH 14, 1953, IN THE NET AMOUNT OF $813.36. IT IS STATED THAT MR. MULLER WAS RETIRED FOR AGE AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS JANUARY 31, 1953, AND IMMEDIATELY GIVEN A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 1, 1953, UNDER SECTION 2 (B) OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1948, 62 STAT. 49, WHICH AUTHORIZES THE REEMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN RETIRED AFTER 60 YEARS OF AGE IF THE APPOINTING AUTHORITY DETERMINES THAT HE POSSESSES SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS. YOUR DOUBT APPEARS TO ARISE WHETHER THIS REEMPLOYMENT AUTHORITY EXTENDS TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN RETIRED AT 70 YEARS OF AGE DUE TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 204 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 404, WHICH PROVIDES:

ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1932, NO PERSON RENDERING CIVILIAN SERVICE IN ANY BRANCH OR SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHO SHALL HAVE REACHED THE RETIREMENT AGE PRESCRIBED FOR AUTOMATIC SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE, APPLICABLE TO SUCH PERSON, SHALL BE CONTINUED IN SUCH SERVICE, NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW OR REGULATION TO THE CONTRARY: PROVIDED, THAT THE PRESIDENT MAY, BY EXECUTIVE ORDER, EXEMPT FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION ANY PERSON WHEN, IN HIS JUDGMENT, THE PUBLIC INTEREST SO REQUIRES: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT NO SUCH PERSON HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER ANY PROVISION OF LAW OR REGULATION PROVIDING FOR SUCH RETIREMENT ON ACCOUNT OF AGE SHALL BE ELIGIBLE AGAIN TO APPOINTMENT TO ANY APPOINTIVE OFFICE, POSITION, OR EMPLOYMENT UNDER THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY PERSON NAMED IN ANY ACT OF CONGRESS PROVIDING FOR THE CONTINUANCE OF SUCH PERSON IN THE SERVICE. (ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

THE PROVISION FOR REEMPLOYMENT OF ANNUITANTS WHO POSSESS SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS WAS PLACED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 24, 1942, 56 STAT. 14, BUT THAT ACT REQUIRED THAT THE ANNUITY CEASE UPON REEMPLOYMENT AND THAT THE RETIRED ANNUITY BE REDETERMINED UNDER THE LAW IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE TERMINATION OF THE REEMPLOYMENT. SAID PRIOR STATUTE WAS CONSIDERED IN DECISION OF FEBRUARY 24, 1942, B- 23914, 21 COMP. GEN. 805, WHEREIN WAS QUOTED A DISCUSSION UPON THE BILL (WHICH BECAME SAID 1942 STATUTE) FROM THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD OF JANUARY 19, 1942, PAGE 467, ATTENTION PARTICULARLY BEING INVITED TO THE STATEMENT BY SENATOR MEAD, VIZ., "IT ADDS TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT TO CONTINUE HIM IN THE SERVICE THE AUTHORITY OF HIS SUPERIOR.' IT WAS HELD IN THAT DECISION, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

A CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE DETERMINED BY THE APPOINTING AUTHORITY TO POSSESS SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS WHO IS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE BY RETIREMENT FOR AGE UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JANUARY 24, 1942, MAY BE IMMEDIATELY REEMPLOYED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 2 (B) OF THE LATTER ACT WITHOUT THERE BEING AN ACTUAL BREAK IN SERVICE, OR INTERVENING PERIOD FOR WHICH AN ANNUITY IS PAYABLE.

ALSO, ATTENTION MAY BE INVITED TO SENATE REPORT 143 SUBMITTED ON APRIL 25, 1947, BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON CIVIL SERVICE UPON S. 637, WHICH BILL CONTAINED LANGUAGE SIMILAR TO THAT CONTAINED IN H.R. 4127, WHICH BECAME THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1948, PARTICULARLY THAT PART OF PAGE 2 READING AS FOLLOWS:

THIS SECTION RETAINS THE EXISTING COMPULSORY RETIREMENT AGE OF 70 YEARS BUT REDUCES THE SERVICE REQUIREMENT FROM 15 TO 10 YEARS, AND THIS SECTION ALSO PROVIDES AN ENTIRELY NEW FEATURE TO THE RETIREMENT LAW WITH RESPECT TO REEMPLOYED ANNUITANTS. UNDER THE PRESENT LAW AN EMPLOYEE RETIRED UNDER SECTION 1 (AGE OR OPTIONALLY), MAY BE REEMPLOYED IN THE FEDERAL SERVICE ONLY IF, IN THE OPINION OF THE APPOINTING AUTHORITY, HE POSSESSES SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS. THE ANNUITY PREVIOUSLY AWARDED IS TERMINATED UPON ANY SUCH REEMPLOYMENT, AND THE EMPLOYEE AGAIN BECOMES SUBJECT TO THE RETIREMENT ACT WITH A NEW ANNUITY RIGHT ARISING UNDER THE LAW IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF SUBSEQUENT SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE.

IT IS PROPOSED THAT THE SAME PRIVILEGE OF REEMPLOYMENT BE CONTINUED EXCEPT THAT IF THE PERSON IS AGE 60 OR OVER, THE ANNUITY WILL CONTINUE TO BE PAID DURING HIS REEMPLOYMENT AND HIS SALARY, AS AN EMPLOYEE, REDUCED BY THE AMOUNT OF ANNUITY BEING RECEIVED. THE EMPLOYEE WOULD ACQUIRE NO ADDITIONAL RETIREMENT RIGHTS DURING SUCH PERIOD OF REEMPLOYMENT.

THIS WILL RESULT IN A SAVING IN ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS BECAUSE OF THE ELIMINATION OF DROPPING ANNUITANTS FROM THE ROLL, RECOMPUTING ANNUITIES, AND REENTERING ANNUITANTS ON THE ROLL. IT WILL PREVENT INEQUITIES ARISING AS A RESULT OF ANNUITANTS BEING REEMPLOYED PRIMARILY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACQUIRING NEW OR ADDITIONAL RETIREMENT RIGHTS.

THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT THAT THERE ARE TWO METHODS FOR UTILIZING THE SERVICES OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE WHO HAS REACHED THE COMPULSORY RETIREMENT AGE, VIZ., (1) HE MAY BE CONTINUED IN EMPLOYMENT BY EXECUTIVE ORDER WITHOUT PROCESSING HIS RETIREMENT, (2) OR HE MAY BE RETIRED AND THEREAFTER REEMPLOYED UPON DETERMINATION BY THE APPOINTING AUTHORITY THAT HE POSSESSES SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS.

THE PAPER WHICH YOU DESCRIBED AS BUREAU VOUCHER 17639 APPEARS TO BE MERELY A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER. IN FUTURE SUBMISSIONS, THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER AND NOT MERELY A COPY THEREOF SHOULD ACCOMPANY YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION. HOWEVER, YOU MAY BE INFORMED THAT THERE IS NO OBJECTION TO THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO AN ANNUITANT REEMPLOYED AS POSSESSING SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS AFTER RETIRING AT THE AGE OF 70 YEARS AND, ACCORDINGLY, THE PAYROLL VOUCHER COVERING SUCH PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE PROPER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. WITH RESPECT TO THE QUESTION YOU PRESENT IN THAT REGARD, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE APPOINTMENT SHOULD STATE THAT THERE HAS BEEN AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE APPOINTEE POSSESSES SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE POSITION BUT NEED NOT NECESSARILY SPECIFY SUCH SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS IN DETAIL. THE ENCLOSURES WITH YOUR LETTER ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.