B-125972, JAN. 10, 1956

B-125972: Jan 10, 1956

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PROOF OF DATE OF BIRTH WAS VERIFIED ON OCTOBER 28. INSURANCE DEDUCTIONS WERE WITHHELD FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 30. YOU POSE THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: "AS THE EMPLOYEE WAS OVER THE AGE OF 65 SINCE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF INSURANCE COVERAGE. IS AN INSURANCE REFUND IN THE AMOUNT OF $24.50 AND ADJUSTMENT ON A SUBSEQUENT PAYROLL PROPER? THE REFERRED-TO ACT PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS: "SEC. 5 (A) DURING ANY PERIOD IN WHICH AN EMPLOYEE UNDER AGE SIXTY FIVE IS INSURED UNDER A POLICY OF INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE COMMISSION AS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT. 000 OF HIS GROUP LIFE INSURANCE * * *. "/B) FOR EACH PERIOD IN WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS INSURED UNDER A POLICY OF INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE COMMISSION * * *.

B-125972, JAN. 10, 1956

TO HONORABLE L. QUINCY MUMFORD, LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 2, 1955, REQUESTS A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF MAKING AN INSURANCE REFUND AND ADJUSTMENT ON A SUBSEQUENT PAYROLL UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE ACT OF 1954, APPROVED AUGUST 17, 1954, 68 STAT. 736, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES HEREAFTER RELATED.

IT APPEARS THAT A CURRENT EMPLOYEE OF THE LIBRARY IN HER APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT EXECUTED DURING THE YEAR 1941 SHOWED THE DATE OF HER BIRTH AS JUNE 18, 1899, BUT PROOF OF DATE OF BIRTH WAS VERIFIED ON OCTOBER 28, 1955, AS JUNE 18, 1886. ON THE BASIS OF THE INFORMATION FURNISHED BY HER, INSURANCE DEDUCTIONS WERE WITHHELD FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST 30, 1954, TO OCTOBER 23, 1955, INCLUSIVE, AMOUNTING TO $24.50.

YOU POSE THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

"AS THE EMPLOYEE WAS OVER THE AGE OF 65 SINCE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF INSURANCE COVERAGE, IS AN INSURANCE REFUND IN THE AMOUNT OF $24.50 AND ADJUSTMENT ON A SUBSEQUENT PAYROLL PROPER?

THE REFERRED-TO ACT PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 5 (A) DURING ANY PERIOD IN WHICH AN EMPLOYEE UNDER AGE SIXTY FIVE IS INSURED UNDER A POLICY OF INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE COMMISSION AS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT, THERE SHALL BE WITHHELD FROM EACH SALARY PAYMENT OF SUCH EMPLOYEE, AS HIS SHARE OF THE COST OF HIS GROUP LIFE AND ACCIDENTAL DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT INSURANCE, AN AMOUNT DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION, BUT NOT TO EXCEED THE RATE OF 25 CENTS BIWEEKLY FOR EACH $1,000 OF HIS GROUP LIFE INSURANCE * * *.

"/B) FOR EACH PERIOD IN WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS INSURED UNDER A POLICY OF INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE COMMISSION * * *, THERE SHALL BE CONTRIBUTED FROM THE RESPECTIVE APPROPRIATION OR FUND WHICH IS USED FOR PAYMENT OF HIS SALARY, WAGE, OR OTHER COMPENSATION * * * A SUM COMPUTED AT A RATE DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION, BUT NOT TO EXCEED ONE HALF THE AMOUNT WITHHELD FROM THE EMPLOYEE UNDER THIS SECTION.

"/C) THE SUMS WITHHELD FROM EMPLOYEES UNDER SUBSECTION (A) AND THE SUMS CONTRIBUTED FROM APPROPRIATIONS AND FUNDS UNDER SUBSECTION (B) SHALL BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF A FUND WHICH IS HEREBY CREATED * * *.

"SEC. 11. EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED HEREIN, THE COMMISSION IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO PROMULGATE SUCH REGULATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY AND PROPER TO GIVE EFFECT TO THE INTENT, PURPOSES, AND PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.'

THE LIFE INSURANCE MANUAL ISSUED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION PROVIDES ON PAGE I-3-13 THAT ,AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS AGE 65 OR OVER IS INSURED WITHOUT COST TO HIM AND NO WITHHOLDINGS WILL BE MADE FROM HIS SALARY.' IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED ON PAGE I-3-14 OF THE MANUAL THAT "WHERE AMOUNTS HAVE BEEN ERRONEOUSLY WITHHELD FROM THE SALARY OF A CURRENTLY EMPLOYED INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS WAIVED COVERAGE OR WHO IS EXCLUDED FROM COVERAGE, ADJUSTMENT OF THE ERRONEOUS WITHHOLDINGS WILL BE MADE ON A SUBSEQUENT PAYROLL ON WHICH HIS NAME APPEARS" AND THAT "SUCH ADJUSTMENT WILL AUTOMATICALLY CORRECT THE EXCESS AGENCY CONTRIBUTIONS INVOLVED.'

THE EMPLOYEE, WHO WAS OVER THE AGE OF 65 ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE LIFE INSURANCE ACT, WAS ENTITLED UNDER THE LAW AND REGULATIONS TO BE INSURED WITHOUT COST TO HER. THE ACT CONTAINS NO PROVISION CONCERNING THE RETENTION OF SALARY WITHHOLDINGS IF THEY ARE MADE IN ERROR. ALTHOUGH THE REGULATORY PROVISION FOR THE ADJUSTMENT OF ERRONEOUS WITHHOLDINGS DOES NOT APPEAR TO SPECIFICALLY COVER THE PRESENT CASE, THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HAS EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT THE REFUND BY PAYROLL ADJUSTMENT WOULD BE PROPER. ALSO, THE COMMISSION HAS INFORMED US THAT THERE WILL BE NO LOSS TO THE GOVERNMENT IN THE INSURANCE PROGRAM BECAUSE OF THE MISSTATEMENT OF AGE BY THE EMPLOYEE.