B-159889, SEP. 1, 1966

B-159889: Sep 1, 1966

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RIDGEWAY WAS OFFICIALLY NOTIFIED THAT. IT WAS THE INTENTION OF THE LABORATORY TO ABOLISH HIS POSITION AS FOREMAN MECHANIC (PUBLIC WORKS). THIS WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH INFORMATION WHICH HE HAD RECEIVED FROM A MEMBER OF THE LABORATORY'S PERSONNEL DIVISION TO THE EFFECT THAT HE HAD ADEQUATE SERVICE TO ENTITLE HIM TO SUCH RETIREMENT. RIDGEWAY'S SEPARATION DATE WERE TO BE CHANGED TO 2 SEPTEMBER 1966. RIDGEWAY WOULD HAVE THE REQUIRED 25 YEARS OF CREDITABLE SERVICE AND THE RETIREMENT FOR WHICH HE HAD APPLIED COULD BE APPROVED. THESE ARE OUTLINED IN YOUR UNPUBLISHED DECISIONS B-131720 OF 16 MAY 1957 AND B-143828 OF 9 OCTOBER 1964. IT IS CLEAR THAT. HE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE INCORRECT INFORMATION THAT HE HAD ALREADY COMPLETED 25 YEARS OF CREDITABLE SERVICE.

B-159889, SEP. 1, 1966

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY:

WE REFER TO LETTER OF AUGUST 10, 1966, REFERENCE ONR:721:VA12830, FROM THE CHIEF OF NAVAL RESEARCH REQUESTING A DECISION CONCERNING THE AUTHORITY TO RETROACTIVELY CHANGE THE SEPARATION DATE OF A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE U.S. NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY SO THAT HE MAY ACCUMULATE SOME ADDITIONAL FOUR MONTHS OF SERVICE WHICH WOULD ENABLE HIM TO QUALIFY FOR AN ANNUITY UNDER THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT. IN SUCH CONNECTION THE LETTER OF THE CHIEF OF NAVAL RESEARCH SAYS:

"ON 4 MAY 1966, MR. RIDGEWAY WAS OFFICIALLY NOTIFIED THAT, AS A RESULT OF REALIGNMENT OF FUNCTIONS IN THE PUBLIC WORKS DIVISION, IT WAS THE INTENTION OF THE LABORATORY TO ABOLISH HIS POSITION AS FOREMAN MECHANIC (PUBLIC WORKS). TWO DAYS LATER, ON 6 MAY 1966, MR. RIDGEWAY RESIGNED AND IMMEDIATELY APPLIED TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION FOR DISCONTINUED SERVICE ANNUITY. THIS WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH INFORMATION WHICH HE HAD RECEIVED FROM A MEMBER OF THE LABORATORY'S PERSONNEL DIVISION TO THE EFFECT THAT HE HAD ADEQUATE SERVICE TO ENTITLE HIM TO SUCH RETIREMENT.

"THE COMMISSION THUS DETERMINED THAT MR. RIDGEWAY'S TOTAL CREDITABLE SERVICE FAILED TO MEET THE NECESSARY 25 YEAR REQUIREMENT, TOTALLING ACTUALLY ONLY 24 YEARS, 8 MONTHS AND 4 DAYS. THE COMMISSION FURTHER POINTED OUT THAT IF MR. RIDGEWAY'S SEPARATION DATE WERE TO BE CHANGED TO 2 SEPTEMBER 1966, OR ANY DATE THEREAFTER, MR. RIDGEWAY WOULD HAVE THE REQUIRED 25 YEARS OF CREDITABLE SERVICE AND THE RETIREMENT FOR WHICH HE HAD APPLIED COULD BE APPROVED. THE COMMISSION INDICATED THAT THERE HAD BEEN AT LEAST TWO SIMILAR CASES IN EACH OF WHICH YOUR OFFICE HAD AUTHORIZED A CORRECTIVE CHANGE IN THE SEPARATION DATE. BOTH CASES INVOLVED CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH THE SEPARATION, THROUGH SOME MISCONCEPTION, DID NOT CONFORM TO THE INTENT OF THE PARTIES CONCERNED. THESE ARE OUTLINED IN YOUR UNPUBLISHED DECISIONS B-131720 OF 16 MAY 1957 AND B-143828 OF 9 OCTOBER 1964.

"IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE, IT IS CLEAR THAT, HAD THE LABORATORY OFFICIALS BEEN AWARE OF THE CORRECT DATES OF MR. RIDGEWAY'S ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE, HE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE INCORRECT INFORMATION THAT HE HAD ALREADY COMPLETED 25 YEARS OF CREDITABLE SERVICE. CLEARLY, HAD HE NOT BEEN GIVEN THE INCORRECT INFORMATION, HE WOULD NOT HAVE RESIGNED WHEN HE DID. IT IS ALSO CLEAR THAT THE LABORATORY OFFICIALS, HAD THEY KNOWN THE FACTS, WOULD HAVE SET THE DATE FOR THE ABOLITION OF MR. RIDGEWAY'S POSITION LATE ENOUGH TO HAVE PERMITTED HIM TO COMPLETE 25 YEARS OF SERVICE BEFORE HIS SEPARATION.'

IT SEEMS APPARENT FROM THE LETTER OF THE CHIEF OF NAVAL RESEARCH THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIGNATION WAS SUBMITTED BECAUSE OF MISINFORMATION GIVEN HIM BY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS AND THAT BOTH THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS AND THE EMPLOYEE UNDERSTOOD THAT HE WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR AN IMMEDIATE ANNUITY SHOULD HE RESIGN. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE EMPLOYEE'S SEPARATION DID NOT CONFORM WITH THE INTENT OF THE PARTIES. THEREFORE, IN LINE WITH THE DECISIONS CITED IN THE LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF NAVAL RESEARCH WE WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO YOUR CHANGING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S RESIGNATION FROM MAY 6 TO SEPTEMBER 2, 1966, TO CONFORM WITH THE UNDERSTANDING AND INTENTION OF THE PARTIES THAT SUCH RESIGNATION WOULD CONSTITUTE A PROPER BASIS FOR ENTITLEMENT AND PAYMENT OF AN IMMEDIATE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ANNUITY TO THE SEPARATED EMPLOYEE.