B-166982, JUN. 23, 1969

B-166982: Jun 23, 1969

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JONES: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 6. SECTION IV OF FPM LETTER NO. 870-9 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS: "ALL -WAIVERS OF LIFE INSURANCE COVERAGE- (STANDARD FORM 53) ON FILE ARE AUTOMATICALLY CANCELED AT MIDNIGHT OF THE DAY BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF THE PAY PERIOD BEGINNING ON OR AFTER FEBRUARY 14. REGULAR INSURANCE COVERAGE AND WITHHOLDINGS BEGIN AS OF THE DAY AFTER AUTOMATIC CANCELLATION IF THE EMPLOYEE DOES NOT FILE A NEW WAIVER ON SF 176-T ON OR BEFORE THAT DAY AND IF HE IS IN A PAY AND DUTY STATUS ON THAT DAY. THEN ON THE FIRST DAY THEREAFTER HE IS IN A PAY AND DUTY STATUS. * * * * * * * "AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE WAIVER IS AUTOMATICALLY CANCELED MUST FILE A SF 176 T. WAIVE HIS REGULAR INSURANCE AGAIN. * * *" YOU RECEIVED A STANDARD FORM 176-T BUT DID NOT COMPLETE IT UNTIL PREMIUM DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE FROM YOUR SALARY SINCE YOU BELIEVED SUCH ACTION WAS UNNECESSARY BECAUSE YOU HAD PREVIOUSLY FILED A WAIVER FORM.

B-166982, JUN. 23, 1969

TO MR. WILLIAM A. JONES:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 6, 1969, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 29, 1969, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM OF $10.74 FOR REFUND OF DEDUCTIONS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE PREMIUMS MADE FROM YOUR FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1968 SALARY AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU DID NOT DESIRE COVERAGE UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE ACT OF 1954, NOW CODIFIED IN 5 U.S.C. 8701 -8716, AND FILED A "WAIVER OF LIFE INSURANCE COVERAGE" (STANDARD FORM 53), AS REQUIRED BY THE ACT AND THE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED PURSUANT THERETO BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. SUBSEQUENTLY TITLE IV OF PUBLIC LAW 90-206, APPROVED DECEMBER 16, 1967, 81 STAT. 646, AMENDED THE ACT. IN ACCORDANCE WITH AUTHORITY IN 5 U.S.C. 8716 TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE ACT, FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL (FPM) LETTER NO. 870-9, DATED JANUARY 26, 1968, PROVIDED SUBSTANTIVE RULES APPLICABLE TO THE OPTIONAL INSURANCE PROVISION OF THE AMENDMENT AND STATED THE CONDITIONS FOR AUTOMATIC CANCELLATION OF PREVIOUSLY FILED WAIVERS OF LIFE INSURANCE COVERAGE. SECTION IV OF FPM LETTER NO. 870-9 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS: "ALL -WAIVERS OF LIFE INSURANCE COVERAGE- (STANDARD FORM 53) ON FILE ARE AUTOMATICALLY CANCELED AT MIDNIGHT OF THE DAY BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF THE PAY PERIOD BEGINNING ON OR AFTER FEBRUARY 14, 1968. REGULAR INSURANCE COVERAGE AND WITHHOLDINGS BEGIN AS OF THE DAY AFTER AUTOMATIC CANCELLATION IF THE EMPLOYEE DOES NOT FILE A NEW WAIVER ON SF 176-T ON OR BEFORE THAT DAY AND IF HE IS IN A PAY AND DUTY STATUS ON THAT DAY; IF NOT, THEN ON THE FIRST DAY THEREAFTER HE IS IN A PAY AND DUTY STATUS.

* * * * * * * "AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE WAIVER IS AUTOMATICALLY CANCELED MUST FILE A SF 176 T. HE CAN ELECT THE OPTIONAL INSURANCE, DECLINE IT, OR, AS INDICATED, WAIVE HIS REGULAR INSURANCE AGAIN. * * *"

YOU RECEIVED A STANDARD FORM 176-T BUT DID NOT COMPLETE IT UNTIL PREMIUM DEDUCTIONS WERE MADE FROM YOUR SALARY SINCE YOU BELIEVED SUCH ACTION WAS UNNECESSARY BECAUSE YOU HAD PREVIOUSLY FILED A WAIVER FORM. YOU REQUEST REFUND OF THE AMOUNT OF PREMIUMS DEDUCTED ON THE GROUND THAT FPM LETTER NO. 870-9 IS NOT A PROPER REGULATION AND IS INVALID.

IN ORDER FOR A STATUTORY REGULATION TO BE DECLARED INVALID, IT MUST BE CLEARLY ILLEGAL OR PLAINLY AND PALPABLY INCONSISTENT WITH LAW. SEE BOSKE V COMINGORE, 177 U.S. 459, AND FUSSELL V UNITED STATES, 100 F. 2D 995. THE INSTANT CASE THE REGULATION CANCELING THE CURRENT WAIVERS ALSO PROVIDED FOR THE WAIVING OF REGULAR INSURANCE AGAIN. INASMUCH AS 5 U.S.C. 8702 PROVIDES THAT AN EMPLOYEE DESIRING NOT TO BE INSURED SHALL GIVE WRITTEN NOTICE TO HIS EMPLOYING OFFICE ON A FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE REGULATION IS NEITHER ILLEGAL NOR INCONSISTENT WITH THE STATUTE.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, THE DEDUCTION OF INSURANCE PREMIUMS WAS PROPER AND THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.