B-169139, AUG. 10, 1970

B-169139: Aug 10, 1970

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WHICH WAS DISALLOWED IN SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 23. MAY HAVE THE UNPAID RETAINER PAY PAID TO THE WIDOW. SINCE THE AMOUNT OF BENEFIT IS SMALL AND THE WIDOW IS SECOND IN PRECEDENCE AFTER DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY. STURGILL: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 27. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED MARCH 23. FROM THIS YOU CONCLUDE THAT YOU ARE THE PERSON ENTITLED TO RECEIVE THE ARREARS OF RETAINER PAY DUE YOUR HUSBAND AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH. IT IS PROVIDED IN 10 U.S.C. 2771 THAT IN THE SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS OF A DECEASED MEMBER. WE HAVE NO INFORMATION THAT THE DESIGNATION MADE DID NOT REFLECT HIS INTENT AT THAT TIME OR THAT HE EVER CANCELLED OR CHANGED THAT DESIGNATION.

B-169139, AUG. 10, 1970

RETAINER PAY -- DECEASED MEMBER DECISION TO WIDOW OF A DECEASED RETIRED MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AUTHORIZING THE RETAINER PAY OF $65.11, WHICH WAS DISALLOWED IN SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 23, 1970, ON BASIS THAT DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY CANNOT BE LOCATED. A RETIRED UNIFORMED MEMBER OF THE SERVICES WHO BEFORE HIS DEATH HAD DESIGNATED A BENEFICIARY, WHO, AFTER SEARCH CANNOT BE LOCATED, TO RECEIVE HIS RETAINER PAY, MAY HAVE THE UNPAID RETAINER PAY PAID TO THE WIDOW, SINCE THE AMOUNT OF BENEFIT IS SMALL AND THE WIDOW IS SECOND IN PRECEDENCE AFTER DESIGNATED BENEFICIARY.

TO MRS. LEOLA M. STURGILL:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 27, 1970, WITH ENCLOSURE, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM AS THE WIDOW OF THE LATE SMC ROBERT C. STURGILL, USNFR, FOR THE UNPAID RETAINER PAY DUE ON THE DATE OF HIS DEATH, DECEMBER 9, 1968.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED MARCH 23, 1970, FOR THE REASON THAT MR. STURGILL HAD DESIGNATED DELORES PHILLIPS AS THE BENEFICIARY TO RECEIVE 100 PERCENT OF THE UNPAID RETAINER PAY DUE HIM ON THE DATE OF HIS DEATH.

YOU POINT OUT IN YOUR LETTER THAT INFORMATION RECEIVED BY YOU FROM THE OFFICE OF CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL INDICATES THAT THEIR RECORDS SHOW THAT YOUR LATE HUSBAND DID NOT DESIGNATE A BENEFICIARY. YOU STATE FURTHER THAT IF HE DID DESIGNATE DELORES PHILLIPS AS BENEFICIARY, SHE HAS NOT BEEN LOCATED. FROM THIS YOU CONCLUDE THAT YOU ARE THE PERSON ENTITLED TO RECEIVE THE ARREARS OF RETAINER PAY DUE YOUR HUSBAND AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH.

IT IS PROVIDED IN 10 U.S.C. 2771 THAT IN THE SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS OF A DECEASED MEMBER, THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE SHALL BE PAID TO CERTAIN PERSONS HIGHEST ON THE LIST THERE PRESCRIBED "LIVING AT THE DATE OF DEATH," THE FIRST BEING THE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATED BY HIM AND THE SECOND BEING THE SURVIVING SPOUSE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON NOVEMBER 20, 1962, YOUR HUSBAND EXECUTED A DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY FORM ON WHICH HE DESIGNATED DELORES PHILLIPS TO RECEIVE 100 PERCENT OF HIS ACCRUED AND UNPAID RETAINER PAY DUE AT HIS DEATH. WE HAVE NO INFORMATION THAT THE DESIGNATION MADE DID NOT REFLECT HIS INTENT AT THAT TIME OR THAT HE EVER CANCELLED OR CHANGED THAT DESIGNATION. THE COMPLETED DESIGNATION FORM APPARENTLY WAS FILED WITH THE RETIRED PAY DEPARTMENT, NAVY FINANCE CENTER, CLEVELAND, OHIO, AND WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION WITH OTHER PAPERS IN THIS CASE.

THUS, WHILE THERE APPEARS TO BE NO BASIS TO QUESTION THAT YOUR HUSBAND DESIGNATED DELORES PHILLIPS AS HIS BENEFICIARY TO RECEIVE HIS UNPAID RETAINER PAY DUE AT THE DATE OF HIS DEATH, THE FILE IN YOUR CASE INDICATES THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO LOCATE OR COMMUNICATE WITH DELORES PHILLIPS. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, AND IN VIEW OF THE SMALL AMOUNT ($65.11) INVOLVED, WE HAVE DECIDED TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT TO YOU OF THAT AMOUNT. A SETTLEMENT IN YOUR FAVOR FOR THE UNPAID RETAINER PAY DUE ROBERT C. STURGILL WILL ISSUE IN DUE COURSE.