B-3160, JUNE 8, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 910

B-3160: Jun 8, 1939

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WHERE THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HAS FOUND THAT THE SIGNATURE OF AN EMPLOYEE ON AN INSTRUMENT PURPORTING TO BE A CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY TO AMOUNTS TO HIS CREDIT IN THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT FUND WAS NOT PROPERLY WITNESSED AS REQUIRED BY REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO GENERAL STATUTORY AUTHORITY GIVEN IN THE ACT OF JUNE 22. OBJECTION IS NOT REQUIRED BY THIS OFFICE SHOULD THE INSTRUMENT BE GIVEN THE EFFECT OF CANCELING OR REVOKING THE PREVIOUS DESIGNATION AND PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT BE MADE TO THE ESTATE OF THE EMPLOYEE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ORDER OF PREFERENCE STATED IN THE SAID ACT. THE PERTINENT PORTIONS OF WHICH ARE QUOTED BELOW: "THE DESIGNATION OF A BENEFICIARY. ACKNOWLEDGED BEFORE SOME OFFICIAL OF THE GOVERNMENT TO WHOM THE ANNUITANT OR EMPLOYEE IS PERSONALLY KNOWN.

B-3160, JUNE 8, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 910

CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT FUNDS - CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY - REGULATION ISSUANCE AUTHORITY AND EFFECT OF CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY APPLICATION NOT EXECUTED WITH SUFFICIENT FORMALITY THE GENERAL STATUTORY AUTHORITY IN THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1934, 48 STAT. 1201, FOR DESIGNATION BY AN EMPLOYEE OR ANNUITANT,"UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION," OF A BENEFICIARY TO RECEIVE AMOUNTS REMAINING TO HIS CREDIT IN THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT FUND, PROPERLY HAS BEEN REGARDED AS INCLUDING THE AUTHORITY TO CHANGE A BENEFICIARY PREVIOUSLY DESIGNATED AND AS VESTING IN THE SAID COMMISSION AUTHORITY TO PRESCRIBE BY REGULATION THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH SUCH CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY MAY BE MADE. WHERE THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HAS FOUND THAT THE SIGNATURE OF AN EMPLOYEE ON AN INSTRUMENT PURPORTING TO BE A CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY TO AMOUNTS TO HIS CREDIT IN THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT FUND WAS NOT PROPERLY WITNESSED AS REQUIRED BY REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO GENERAL STATUTORY AUTHORITY GIVEN IN THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1934, 48 STAT. 1201, AND, THEREFORE, THAT THE INSTRUMENT CANNOT BE REGARDED AS EFFECTIVE IN THAT REGARD, OBJECTION IS NOT REQUIRED BY THIS OFFICE SHOULD THE INSTRUMENT BE GIVEN THE EFFECT OF CANCELING OR REVOKING THE PREVIOUS DESIGNATION AND PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT BE MADE TO THE ESTATE OF THE EMPLOYEE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ORDER OF PREFERENCE STATED IN THE SAID ACT, PROVIDED THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THE EMPLOYEE--- WHILE LEGALLY COMPETENT TO DO SO--- SIGNED THE INSTRUMENT IN QUESTION. 5 COMP. GEN. 249, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, JUNE 8, 939:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 15, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 12 OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT APPROVED MAY 29, 1930 (46 STAT. 468), AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1934 (48 STAT. 1201), READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"/F) EACH EMPLOYEE OR ANNUITANT TO WHOM THIS ACT APPLIES MAY, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, DESIGNATE A BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES TO WHOM SHALL BE PAID, UPON THE DEATH OF THE EMPLOYEE OR ANNUITANT ANY SUM REMAINING TO HIS CREDIT (INCLUDING ANY ACCRUED ANNUITY), UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.'

UNDER THE AUTHORITY GRANTED IN THIS ACT AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS THEREOF, THE COMMISSION ORIGINALLY ADOPTED AND PROMULGATED REGULATIONS, THE PERTINENT PORTIONS OF WHICH ARE QUOTED BELOW:

"THE DESIGNATION OF A BENEFICIARY, WHICH MUST BE IN WRITING, SIGNED IN INK ON THE PRESCRIBED FORM NO. 2806-1, AND ACKNOWLEDGED BEFORE SOME OFFICIAL OF THE GOVERNMENT TO WHOM THE ANNUITANT OR EMPLOYEE IS PERSONALLY KNOWN, SHALL BE FILED WITH THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IN DUPLICATE PRIOR TO THE DEATH OF SAID ANNUITANT OR EMPLOYEE TO HAVE FULL FORCE AND EFFECT. THE CERTIFICATION MAY BE MADE BY ANY SUPERVISING THE ANNUITANT OR EMPLOYEE IS OR WAS EMPLOYED, IF PERSONALLY KNOWN TO HIM, OR IF IMPRACTICABLE TO APPEAR BEFORE SUCH OFFICIAL, BY ANY POSTMASTER WHO IS PERSONALLY ACQUAINTED WITH THE EMPLOYEE OR ANNUITANT. WHERE THE ANNUITANT OR EMPLOYEE IS PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO APPEAR BEFORE AN OFFICIAL, A LETTER CARRIER OR OTHER POSTAL EMPLOYEE WHO IS PERSONALLY ACQUAINTED WITH SUCH PERSON MAY, IF AUTHORIZED BY THE POSTMASTER, ACT AS CERTIFYING OFFICIAL, THE POSTMASTER'S SIGNATURE ALSO TO APPEAR ON THE CERTIFICATE. THE DUPLICATE OF DESIGNATION SHALL BE RETURNED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION TO THE DESIGNATOR AT THE ADDRESS TYPED OR PRINTED BY HIM (OR HER) AT THE BOTTOM THEREOF FOR PRESERVATION AND FUTURE REFERENCE.

"ANY PERSON, FIRM, CORPORATION, OR LEGAL ENTITY MAY BE NAMED AS BENEFICIARY, THAT NO CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY WILL BE RECOGNIZED UNLESS MADE IN WRITING ON FORM 2806-2, ENTITLED "CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY," AND FILED WITH THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IN DUPLICATE PRIOR TO THE DEATH OF THE ANNUITANT OR EMPLOYEE. THE DUPLICATE COPY OF PRIOR DESIGNATION SHOULD ACCOMPANY THE "CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY.' A PURPORTED CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY IN A DULY PROBATED LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF AN ANNUITANT OR EMPLOYEE SHALL NOT BE RECOGNIZED AS A VALID CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY, BUT SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS CANCELING AND REMOVING ANY BENEFICIARY RECORDED BEFORE THE DATE OF THE EXECUTION OF THE SAID WILL AND PAYMENT SHALL BE MADE AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAS BEEN DESIGNATED.'

MR. WILLIAM C. SMITH ON MARCH 14, 1935, WHILE EMPLOYED IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT IN NEW YORK CITY IN A POSITION WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT, DULY EXECUTED AND FILED WITH THIS COMMISSION A DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY, NAMING HIS SON AS THE PERSON TO WHOM PAYMENT SHOULD BE MADE OF THE AMOUNT REMAINING TO HIS CREDIT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND UPON HIS DEATH. ON MARCH 11, 1937, THERE WAS FILED WITH THE COMMISSION A CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY FORM PURPORTED TO HAVE BEEN EXECUTED BY THE EMPLOYEE, NAMING HIS WIFE AS BENEFICIARY. THIS INSTRUMENT BEARS THE DATE OF MARCH 10, 1937, AS THE DATE OF EXECUTION, AND UPON ITS FACE APPEARS REGULAR IN ALL RESPECTS. INVESTIGATION, HOWEVER, REVEALS THE INSTRUMENT TO BE DEFECTIVE, BECAUSE ALTHOUGH ON ITS FACE A UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL, A MAJOR IN THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS, SIGNED THE FORM AND STATED THAT THE EMPLOYEE HAD SUBSCRIBED TO IT IN HIS PRESENCE AND DECLARED IT TO BE HIS FREE ACT AND DEED, THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT SIGN THE FORM IN THE SIGNATORY'S PRESENCE OR MAKE THE DECLARATION, NOR WAS THE CHANGE-OF BENEFICIARY FORM ACTUALLY SIGNED BY THE GOVERNMENT'S OFFICIAL CONCERNED BUT BY ONE OF HIS EMPLOYEES, WHO LIKE HIS SUPERIOR WAS NOT PRESENT WHEN THE EMPLOYEE SIGNED THE FORM. SINCE THE ATTEMPTED CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY WAS NOT PROPERLY EXECUTED AND ACKNOWLEDGED AS REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A VALID CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY (9 COMP. GEN. 195).

THE EMPLOYEE DIED ON MARCH 17, 1937. HIS WIDOW HAS BEEN APPOINTED ADMINISTRATRIX OF HIS ESTATE.

IN YOUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 12, 1925, TO THE DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU (5 COMP. GEN. 249) YOU STATED:

"THERE IS HERE INVOLVED ONLY AN ATTEMPTED CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY WHICH FAILS BECAUSE NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE RELATIVE THERETO. THEREFORE THE SITUATION IS AS THOUGH NO CHANGE HAD BEEN ATTEMPTED, THE ORIGINAL DESIGNATION REMAINING IN FULL FORCE AND FECT.'

HOWEVER, IN DECISION OF MARCH 18, 1927, (6 COMP. GEN. 599), IT WAS HELD:

"WHEN A VETERAN MAKES A PROPER DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY UNDER AN ADJUSTED-SERVICE CERTIFICATE AND THEN LATER TWICE ATTEMPTS TO CHANGE THE BENEFICIARY BUT FAILS BECAUSE THE ATTEMPTED CHANGES WERE NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW AND REGULATIONS, SUCH ACTION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS CANCELING THE FIRST DESIGNATION, AND PAYMENTS UNDER THE CERTIFICATE SHOULD BE MADE TO THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAD BEEN DESIGNATED.'

TO THE SAME EFFECT ARE 9 COMP. GEN. 195 AND 9 ID. 285.

THE QUESTION WHICH ARISES IN THIS CASE IS WHETHER THE INSTRUMENT INVALID AS A CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY IS SUFFICIENT AS A CANCELLATION OR REVOCATION OF THE ORIGINAL DESIGNATION, THEREBY MAKING THE AMOUNT DUE PAYABLE TO THE ESTATE OF THE EMPLOYEE IN THE SAME MANNER AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAD ORIGINALLY BEEN DESIGNATED. YOUR DECISION IN THIS MATTER IS REQUESTED.

SECTION 709, TITLE 5, U.S.C. PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

FOR THE PURPOSE OF ADMINISTRATION, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED HEREIN, THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO PERFORM, OR CAUSE TO BE PERFORMED, ANY AND ALL ACTS AND TO MAKE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY AND PROPER FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER (RETIREMENT OF CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES)INTO FULL FORCE AND EFFECT (AS AMENDED JULY 3, 1926, C. 801, SEC. 17, 44 STAT. 913; MAY 29, 1930, C. 349, SEC. 17, 46 STAT. 478; JULY 3, 1930, C. 863, SEC. 2, 46 STAT. 1016; APRIL 7, 1934, EX.OR. 6670).

PARAGRAPHS (D) AND (F) OF SECTION 724, TITLE 5, U.S.C. PROVIDE IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

(D) IN CASE AN EMPLOYEE SHALL DIE WITHOUT HAVING ATTAINED ELIGIBILITY FOR RETIREMENT OR WITHOUT HAVING ESTABLISHED A VALID CLAIM FOR ANNUITY, THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF HIS DEDUCTIONS WITH INTEREST THEREON SHALL BE PAID, UPON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A VALID CLAIM THEREFOR, IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER OF PRECEDENCE:

FIRST, TO THE BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES DESIGNATED IN WRITING BY SUCH EMPLOYEE AND RECORDED ON HIS INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT.

SECOND, IF THERE BE NO SUCH BENEFICIARY, TO THE DULY APPOINTED EXECUTOR OR ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF SUCH EMPLOYEE.

(F)EACH EMPLOYEE OR ANNUITANT TO WHOM THIS CHAPTER APPLIES MAY, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, DESIGNATE A BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES TO WHOM SHALL BE PAID, UPON THE DEATH OF THE EMPLOYEE OR ANNUITANT ANY SUM REMAINING TO HIS CREDIT (INCLUDING ANY ACCRUED ANNUITY) UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER (AS AMENDED JULY 3, 1936, C. 801, SEC. 12, 44 STAT. 911; MAY 29, 1930, C. 349, SEC. 12, 46 STAT. 476; JULY 3, 1930, C. 863, SEC. 2, 46 STAT. 1016; APR. 7 1934, EX.OR. 6670; JUNE 22, 1934, C. 709, SECS. 1-4, 48 STAT. 1201).

IN ADDITION TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, PARAGRAPHS 1 AND 3 OF THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSION IN FORCE IN MARCH 1937, WHEN THE PURPORTED CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY IN THIS CASE WAS MADE, APPEARING ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF "DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY" (FORM 2806-1), APPROVED IN JULY 1936, PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

1. THE DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY SHALL BE IN WRITING ON THE PRESCRIBED FORM 2806-1, SIGNED AND ACKNOWLEDGED IN THE PRESENCE OF TWO WITNESSES PERSONALLY ACQUAINTED WITH THE DESIGNATOR, NEITHER OF WHOM SHALL BE NAMED AS BENEFICIARY, AND MUST BE RECEIVED IN THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, IN DUPLICATE, PRIOR TO THE DEATH OF THE DESIGNATOR.

3. A REVOCATION OR CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY MAY BE MADE AT ANY TIME AND WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT OF THE PREVIOUS BENEFICIARY, EXCEPT THAT NO CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY WILL BE RECOGNIZED UNLESS MADE IN WRITING, ON THE FORM 2806-1, ENTITLED "DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY," AND FILED WITH THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, IN DUPLICATE, PRIOR TO THE DEATH OF THE ANNUITANT OR EMPLOYEE. THE DUPLICATE COPY OF PRIOR DESIGNATION SHOULD ACCOMPANY THE CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY. A PURPORTED CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY IN A DULY PROBATED LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF AN ANNUITANT OR EMPLOYEE SHALL NOT BE RECOGNIZED AS A VALID CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY, BUT SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS CANCELLING AND REMOVING ANY BENEFICIARY RECORDED BEFORE THE DATE OF THE EXECUTION OF THE SAID WILL, AND PAYMENT SHALL BE MADE AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAD BEEN DESIGNATED.

INSTRUCTIONS TO EMPLOYEES AND ANNUITANTS, APPEARING ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF THE SAME FORM, TATE:

BE CERTAIN TO SIGN THE DESIGNATION IN THE PRESENCE OF TWO WITNESSES (NOT BENEFICIARIES) AND MAIL YOUR FORM PROMPTLY TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, WASHINGTON, D.C. * * *

ON THE FACE OF THE FORM THERE IS SPACE FOR THE SIGNATURE OF TWO WITNESSES TO THE SIGNATURE OF THE EMPLOYEE OR ANNUITANT. IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM YOUR LETTER THAT WHILE FORM 2806-1 ENTITLED ,DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY" WAS THE ONLY FORM FOR USE AT THE TIME FOR EITHER AN ORIGINAL DESIGNATION OR A CHANGE IN DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY, THE EMPLOYEE IN THIS CASE USED OBSOLETE FORM 2806-2 IN ATTEMPTING TO MAKE HIS CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY. THE FACT OF THE FORM USED THERE WAS NO SPACE FOR THE SIGNATURE OF TWO WITNESSES TO THE SIGNATURE OF THE EMPLOYEE, BUT IN LIEU THEREOF, IT CONTAINED A "CERTIFICATE OF UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL," AS FOLLOWS:

THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT THE PERSON ABOVE NAMED AS AN ANNUITANT OR EMPLOYEE IS KNOWN TO ME TO BE AN ANNUITANT OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AS CLAIMED, THAT I AM PERSONALLY WELL ACQUAINTED WITH HIM (OR HER) AND HAVE BEEN SO ACQUAINTED FOR ---------- YEARS, AND THAT HE (OR SHE) SUBSCRIBED TO THE ABOVE DESIGNATION IN MY PRESENCE AND DECLARED IT TO BE HIS (OR HER) FREE ACT AND DEED.

THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1934, 48 STAT. 1201 (5 U.S.C. 724), AUTHORIZES AN EMPLOYEE OR ANNUITANT TO DESIGNATE,"UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION," A BENEFICIARY OR BENEFICIARIES TO RECEIVE ANY AMOUNT REMAINING TO HIS CREDIT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND, BUT DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE A CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY. HOWEVER, THIS GENERAL STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR DESIGNATION OF A BENEFICIARY UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION PROPERLY HAS BEEN REGARDED AS INCLUDING THE AUTHORITY TO CHANGE A BENEFICIARY PREVIOUSLY DESIGNATED AND AS VESTING IN THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AUTHORITY TO PRESCRIBE BY REGULATION THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH A CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED. SUCH REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO STATUTE HAVE THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW. SEE IN RE DICKERSON'S ESTATE, 1938, 300 N.Y.S. 748, 165 MISC. 230.

THE REQUIREMENT OF THE REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IS THAT THE SIGNATURE TO A CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY MUST BE WITNESSED, FORMERLY BY AN OFFICIAL OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND UNDER THE EXISTING REGULATIONS BY TWO DISINTERESTED WITNESSES. IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM YOUR LETTER THAT THE COMMISSION HAS FOUND AND DETERMINED THAT THE SIGNATURE OF THE EMPLOYEE ON THE INSTRUMENT PURPORTING TO BE A CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY IN THIS CASE WAS NOT PROPERLY WITNESSED AS REQUIRED BY THE REGULATIONS, AND, THEREFORE, THAT IT CANNOT BE REGARDED AS MAKING THE PURPORTED CHANGE EFFECTIVE.

IN APPLYING THE TERMS OF THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT WHICH AUTHORIZES A VETERAN TO DESIGNATE A BENEFICIARY OF HIS ADJUSTED SERVICE CERTIFICATE--- PROVISIONS WHICH MAY BE SAID TO BE IN PARI MATERIA TO THOSE INVOLVED HERE--- THIS OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT WHILE A CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY NOT COMPLYING WITH THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE STATUTE MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS AUTHORIZING PAYMENT TO THE PERSON DESIGNATED IN THE INVALID CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY, THE ACTION OF THE VETERAN WOULD BE REGARDED AS CANCELING OR REVOKING THE PREVIOUS DESIGNATION OF A BENEFICIARY, THEREBY LEAVING ANY AUTHORIZED PAYMENT TO BE MADE TO THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAD BEEN DESIGNATED. THE DECISIONS YOU CITE, EXCEPT 5 COMP. GEN. 249, STATE THIS RULE. SEE PARTICULARLY, THE DECISION OF JANUARY 14, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 285, WHEREIN IT WAS STATED AT PAGE 289:

IT IS INCONCEIVABLE TO THIS OFFICE THAT ANY STATUTE, UNLESS SO CLEARLY EXPRESSED AS TO LEAVE NO ROOM FOR REASONABLE DOUBT, SHOULD BE SO CONSTRUED AS TO ENTIRELY DISREGARD THE INTENT OF A VETERAN TO DISPOSE, UPON HIS DEATH OF SUCH A MONETARY BENEFIT AS THIS ADJUSTED COMPENSATION. CHANGES IN THE RELATIONSHIPS OF LIFE ARE SO FREQUENT AND SO LIKELY TO CREATE A SITUATION WHEREBY THE PERSON FIRST DESIGNATED BECOMES UNSUITED AS THE RECIPIENT OF SUCH BENEFITS, THAT TO ENTIRELY DISREGARD A CLEARLY EXPRESSED INTENT TO RELIEVE THIS SITUATION WOULD BE TO DEFEAT THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE STATUTE. THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 12, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 249, CITED BY YOU, DID NOT INVOLVE THE WORLD WAR ADJUSTED COMPENSATION ACT, BUT THE WAR RISK INSURANCE ACT WHICH LIMITED THE DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARIES FOR TERM INSURANCE TO A CERTAIN CLASS AND THE ABOVE-STATED RULE WAS NOT APPLIED FOR THE REASON "THAT THE PERSON DESIGNATED IN THE INVALID CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY WAS NOT WITHIN THE PERMITTED CLASS AND NEITHER WAS THE ESTATE OF THE VETERAN REGARDED AS WITHIN THE PERMITTED CLASS.

IF IN THE PRESENT CASE THE COMMISSION FINDS AND DETERMINES THAT THE EMPLOYEE, WILLIAM C. SMITH, IN MARCH 1937, DID--- WHILE LEGALLY COMPETENT TO DO SO--- SIGN THE APPLICATION FOR CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY, THOUGH NOT WITH SUFFICIENT FORMALITY AS TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE REGULATIONS, THIS OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT DUE ON ACCOUNT OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS IN THIS CASE AS THOUGH NO BENEFICIARY HAD BEEN DESIGNATED, THAT IS, TO THE ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF THE DECEASED EMPLOYEE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ORDER OF PREFERENCE STATED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1934, SUPRA. ..END :