B-164174, JUNE 7, 1968, 47 COMP. GEN. 719

B-164174: Jun 7, 1968

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - SEVERANCE PAY - WITHHOLDING - PENDING DISABILITY RETIREMENT ACTION THE FACT THAT AN EMPLOYEE WAS SEPARATED BY A REDUCTION-IN-FORCE ACTION ON THE SAME DAY HE APPLIED FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT AFFORDS NO BASIS TO WITHHOLD PAYMENT OF THE SEVERANCE PAY AUTHORIZED IN 5 U.S.C. 5595 PENDING ACTION ON THE DISABILITY RETIREMENT WITHOUT THE EMPLOYEE'S CONSENT. HIS ANNUITY BEGINS THE DAY FOLLOWING SEPARATION AND HE WILL BE REQUIRED TO REFUND ANY SEVERANCE PAY RECEIVED. 1968: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26. THE EMPLOYEE WAS SEPARATED APRIL 5. YOU STATE THERE IS DOUBT AS TO THE EMPLOYEE'S ENTITLEMENT TO SEVERANCE PAY SINCE HE FILED AN APPLICATION FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT ON APRIL 5.

B-164174, JUNE 7, 1968, 47 COMP. GEN. 719

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - SEVERANCE PAY - WITHHOLDING - PENDING DISABILITY RETIREMENT ACTION THE FACT THAT AN EMPLOYEE WAS SEPARATED BY A REDUCTION-IN-FORCE ACTION ON THE SAME DAY HE APPLIED FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT AFFORDS NO BASIS TO WITHHOLD PAYMENT OF THE SEVERANCE PAY AUTHORIZED IN 5 U.S.C. 5595 PENDING ACTION ON THE DISABILITY RETIREMENT WITHOUT THE EMPLOYEE'S CONSENT. THE EMPLOYEE DOES NOT CONSENT AFTER BEING INFORMED THAT UPON APPROVAL OF HIS RETIREMENT, HIS ANNUITY BEGINS THE DAY FOLLOWING SEPARATION AND HE WILL BE REQUIRED TO REFUND ANY SEVERANCE PAY RECEIVED, ABSENT APPROVAL OF THE RETIREMENT APPLICATION, PAYMENT OF SEVERANCE PAY TO THE FORMER EMPLOYEE MAY BE CERTIFIED.

TO HELEN S. GROFF, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, JUNE 7, 1968:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1968, REFERENCE MDB, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER A VOUCHER FOR SEVERANCE PAY IN FAVOR OF CARL J. RASMUSSEN, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF YOUR COMMISSION, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE EMPLOYEE WAS SEPARATED APRIL 5, 1968, BY A REDUCTION-IN-FORCE ACTION. THE VOUCHER REPRESENTS SEVERANCE PAY FOR THE PERIOD APRIL 7 THROUGH 20, 1968, AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 9 OF PUBLIC LAW 89-301, 5 U.S.C. 5595. YOU STATE THERE IS DOUBT AS TO THE EMPLOYEE'S ENTITLEMENT TO SEVERANCE PAY SINCE HE FILED AN APPLICATION FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT ON APRIL 5, 1968, AND PUBLIC LAW 89-301 DOES NOT AUTHORIZE SEVERANCE PAY FOR AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ENTITLED TO AN IMMEDIATE ANNUITY AT THE TIME OF SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE.

SECTION S14-10, FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL SUPPLEMENT 831-1, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

AN IMMEDIATE RETIREMENT ANNUITY OF ANY TYPE BEGINS ON THE DAY FOLLOWING THE EMPLOYEE'S SEPARATION, OR ON THE DAY AFTER THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY CEASES AND HE MEETS THE SERVICE AND AGE (OR DISABILITY) REQUIREMENTS. * *

IF THE EMPLOYEE'S APPLICATION FOR DISABILITY RETIREMENT IS APPROVED HIS ANNUITY WILL BEGIN ON THE DAY FOLLOWING HIS SEPARATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATION CITED ABOVE AND HE WILL BE INELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE SEVERANCE PAY. ALSO, SHOULD THE EMPLOYEE BE PAID SEVERANCE PAY AND HIS DISABILITY RETIREMENT APPLICATION BE APPROVED LATER HE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO REPAY THE SUM OF ANY AMOUNTS PAID. NEVERTHELESS, WE ARE NOT AWARE OF A BASIS TO WITHHOLD PAYMENT OF THE SEVERANCE PAY PENDING ACTION ON THE DISABILITY RETIREMENT APPLICATION WITHOUT THE EMPLOYEE'S CONSENT. WE SUGGEST, THEREFORE, THAT THE EMPLOYEE BE ADVISED OF THE SITUATION AND ASKED WHETHER HE IS AGREEABLE TO HAVING THE SEVERANCE PAY WITHHELD UNTIL ACTION ON HIS RETIREMENT APPLICATION HAS BEEN COMPLETED. ALSO, IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT WOULD SEEM TO BE APPROPRIATE TO REQUEST THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION TO EXPEDITE ACTION ON THE DISABILITY RETIREMENT APPLICATION.

ACCORDINGLY, UNLESS THE RETIREMENT APPLICATION HAS BEEN APPROVED,OR THE EMPLOYEE CONSENTS TO A WITHHOLDING OF THE SEVERANCE PAYMENT, THE VOUCHER RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.