B-40304, MARCH 10, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 664

B-40304: Mar 10, 1944

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THAT PAYMENT OF ANNUITY SHALL BE TERMINATED DURING THE PERIOD AN ANNUITANT UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE STATUTE IS REEMPLOYED IN ANY APPOINTIVE OFFICE. MAKES NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN PERIODS OF REEMPLOYMENT WHICH ARE. THOSE WHICH ARE NOT. REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE REEMPLOYMENT IS IN A POSITION OR EMPLOYMENT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE SAID ACT. PROVIDING THAT PAYMENT OF AN ANNUITY SHALL BE TERMINATED DURING THE PERIOD AN ANNUITANT UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE ACT IS REEMPLOYED IN ANY APPOINTIVE OFFICE. WHO IS REAPPOINTED OR REEMPLOYED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 2 (B) OF THE ACT TO ANY APPOINTIVE OFFICE. REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH REEMPLOYMENT IS TO A POSITION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPENSATION. 1944: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 16.

B-40304, MARCH 10, 1944, 23 COMP. GEN. 664

RETIREMENT - ANNUITANT'S RIGHTS UPON REEMPLOYMENT THE PROVISION IN SECTION 2 (B) OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT OF 1930, AS AMENDED, THAT PAYMENT OF ANNUITY SHALL BE TERMINATED DURING THE PERIOD AN ANNUITANT UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE STATUTE IS REEMPLOYED IN ANY APPOINTIVE OFFICE, POSITION, OR EMPLOYMENT UNDER THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MAKES NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN PERIODS OF REEMPLOYMENT WHICH ARE, AND THOSE WHICH ARE NOT, UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT, AND, THEREFORE, SUCH AN ANNUITANT MAY NOT BE PAID AN ANNUITY DURING A PERIOD OF REEMPLOYMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE REEMPLOYMENT IS IN A POSITION OR EMPLOYMENT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE SAID ACT. IN VIEW OF THE BROAD TERMS OF SECTION 2 (B) OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT OF 1930, AS AMENDED, PROVIDING THAT PAYMENT OF AN ANNUITY SHALL BE TERMINATED DURING THE PERIOD AN ANNUITANT UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE ACT IS REEMPLOYED IN ANY APPOINTIVE OFFICE, POSITION, OR EMPLOYMENT UNDER THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE REEMPLOYMENT OF AN ANNUITANT IN A POSITION OR EMPLOYMENT NOT UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT NEED NOT BE REGARDED AS TERMINATING THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE THE SAME ANNUITY UPON TERMINATION OF THE ANNUITANT'S REEMPLOYMENT. A CIVIL SERVICE ANNUITANT RECEIVING AN ANNUITY UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT OF 1930, AS AMENDED, WHO IS REAPPOINTED OR REEMPLOYED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 2 (B) OF THE ACT TO ANY APPOINTIVE OFFICE, POSITION, OR EMPLOYMENT NOT UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT MAY NOT BE PAID HIS ANNUITY DURING THE PERIOD OF REEMPLOYMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH REEMPLOYMENT IS TO A POSITION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPENSATION; THE FACT THAT TRAVELING EXPENSES MAY BE PAID DURING THE PERIOD OF REEMPLOYMENT WITHOUT COMPENSATION HAS NO BEARING UPON THE MATTER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, MARCH 10, 1944:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 16, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 2 (B) OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT OF MAY 29, 1930, AS AMENDED, READS AS OLLOWS:

"NO PERSON SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE WHO IS RECEIVING AN ANNUITY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT SHALL BE ELIGIBLE AGAIN TO APPOINTMENT TO ANY APPOINTIVE OFFICE, POSITION, OR EMPLOYMENT UNDER THE UNITED STATES OR OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNLESS THE APPOINTING AUTHORITY DETERMINES THAT HE IS POSSESSED OF SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS, IN WHICH EVENT PAYMENT OF HIS ANNUITY SHALL BE TERMINATED DURING THE PERIOD OF HIS APPOINTMENT. ANY SUCH PERSON WHOSE ANNUITY IS TERMINATED SHALL, UPON THE TERMINATION OF HIS APPOINTMENT, HAVE HIS SUBSEQUENT ANNUITY RIGHTS DETERMINED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF LAW IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF SUCH TERMINATION.'

SECTION 3 (B) OF THE SAME ACT, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES THAT THE PRESIDENT SHALL HAVE POWER, IN HIS DISCRETION, TO EXCLUDE FROM THE OPERATION OF THIS ACT ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OR GROUP OF OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE SERVICE WHOSE TENURE OF OFFICE OR EMPLOYMENT IS INTERMITTENT OR OF UNCERTAIN DURATION.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 9154 OF MAY 1, 1942 READS:

"BY VIRTUE OF AND PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY SECTION 3 (B) OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT OF MAY 29, 1930 (46 STAT. 468), AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JANUARY 24, 1942 ( PUBLIC LAW 411, 77TH CONGRESS), IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

"1. EMPLOYEES IN THE FOLLOWING CLASSIFICATIONS OF FEDERAL PERSONNEL IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE HEREBY EXCLUDED FROM THE OPERATION OF THE SAID RETIREMENT ACT, UNLESS ELIGIBLE FOR RETIREMENT BENEFITS BY CONTINUITY OF SERVICE, BY REINSTATEMENT, OR OTHERWISE:

"/A) EMPLOYEES WHOSE EXPECTED SERVICE WILL BE FOR BRIEF PERIODS BUT NOT TO EXCEED ONE YEAR.

"/B) EMPLOYEES PAID BY THE HOUR, DAY, MONTH, OR YEAR WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED, WHOSE EMPLOYMENT IS PERIODIC, PART-TIME, OR RECURRENT AND FOR WHOM A REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY IS NOT CONTEMPLATED.

"/C) EMPLOYEES AND CONSULTANTS PAID ON A CONTRACT OR FEE BASIS.

"/D) EMPLOYEES PAID ON A PIECE-WORK BASIS, EXCEPT WHEN SERVING UNDER REGULAR OR PERMANENT APPOINTMENT.

"/E) COOPERATIVE EMPLOYEES NOT WHOLLY UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND NOT OTHERWISE SUBJECT TO THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT.

"/F) OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WITHOUT COMPENSATION OR WITH NOMINAL COMPENSATION OF $12.00 OR LESS PER ANNUM.

"/G) INTERMITTENT ALIEN EMPLOYEES ENGAGED ON WORK OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

"/H) MEMBER AND PATIENT EMPLOYEES IN GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS OR HOMES.

"/I) EMPLOYEES SERVING UNDER TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS PENDING FINAL DETERMINATION OF THEIR ELIGIBILITY FOR PERMANENT OR INDEFINITE

APPOINTMENT.

"/J) ACTING POSTMASTERS, CLERKS IN FOURTH CLASS POST OFFICES, SUBSTITUTE RURAL CARRIERS, AND SPECIAL DELIVERY MESSENGERS AT SECOND, THIRD, AND FOURTH CLASS POST OFFICES.

"2. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IS AUTHORIZED TO DETERMINE THE APPLICABILITY OF THE ABOVE CLASSIFICATIONS TO SPECIFIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OR GROUPS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT.

"3. THIS ORDER SHALL BE EFFECTIVE AS OF JANUARY 24, 1942, EXCEPT THAT IT SHALL NOT BE SO CONSTRUED AS TO DEFEAT ANY RETIREMENT RIGHTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ACQUIRED BEFORE THE DATE OF THIS ORDER.'

ANNUITY PAYMENTS TO A PERSON REEMPLOYED UNDER THE PROVISION OF SECTION 2 (B) OF THE ACT REFERRED TO ARE TERMINATED, HE BECOMES SUBJECT TO THE RETIREMENT LAW IN THE NEW EMPLOYMENT EVEN THOUGH THE POSITION TO WHICH HE IS REAPPOINTED IS TEMPORARY OR INTERMITTENT AND WOULD ORDINARILY IN ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS NOT ACCORD HIM A RETIREMENT STATUS UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER 9154, AND MUST HAVE HIS SUBSEQUENT ANNUITY RIGHTS BASED ON THE LAW IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF SUBSEQUENT SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE. THE HOLDING BY THE COMMISSION THAT THE EMPLOYEE BECOMES SUBJECT TO THE RETIREMENT ACT UPON REEMPLOYMENT EVEN THOUGH IN ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS SUCH SERVICE WOULD NOT ACCORD THE INCUMBENT A RETIREMENT STATUS FOLLOWS THE INTERPRETATION (13 COMP. GEN. 133; 14 ID. 425) PLACED ON A SIMILAR PROVISION IN SECTION 8 (A), ACT OF JUNE 16, 1933, TO THE EFFECT THAT AN ANNUITANT UNDER THAT SECTION REEMPLOYED IN A TEMPORARY POSITION AUTOMATICALLY REACQUIRED A STATUS UNDER THE RETIREMENT LAW.

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE PREVIOUS REFERENCES TO REEMPLOYMENT RELATED TO REEMPLOYMENT TO POSITIONS, SERVICE IN WHICH COULD BE CREDITED FOR RETIREMENT PURPOSES. THE COMMISSION IS NOW CONFRONTED WITH THE PROBLEM OF ANNUITANTS UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE RETIREMENT ACT WHO ARE REAPPOINTED TO POSITIONS IN WHICH SERVICE IS NOT CREDITABLE FOR RETIREMENT PURPOSES, SUCH AS UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER, COLLABORATOR WITHOUT COMPENSATION, AND SIMILAR POSITIONS. IN OTHER WORDS, THE QUESTION IS WHETHER AN ANNUITANT REEMPLOYED IN A POSITION WHICH IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE RETIREMENT ACT AT ALL MUST HAVE HIS ANNUITY TERMINATED DURING THE EMPLOYMENT IN SUCH NON- CREDITABLE POSITION. A UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER, FOR INSTANCE, SERVES ON A FEE BASIS. ADMITTEDLY THIS APPOINTMENT IS TO AN APPOINTIVE OFFICE, POSITION, OR EMPLOYMENT UNDER THE UNITED STATES BUT THE REEMPLOYMENT IS NOT CONSIDERED CREDITABLE SERVICE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE RETIRMENT LAW (SEE 14 COMP. GEN. 791). COMMISSIONERS HAVE NO BASIC SALARY FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS OR ANNUITY COMPUTATIONS AND IN VIEW OF THE IRREGULARITY OF SERVICE, NO FIXED HOURS OR REGULAR TOUR OF DUTY, THE SERVICE COULD NOT WELL BE REDUCED TO CALENDAR TERMINOLOGY FOR CREDIT PURPOSES. THIS PRODUCES THE ANOMALOUS SITUATION OF AN ANNUITANT WHOSE REEMPLOYMENT SHALL HAVE AGAIN ACCORDED HIM A RETIREMENT STATUS BUT FOR THE FACT THAT SERVICE IN THE POSITION IS NOT SUBJECT TO CREDIT UNDER THE RETIREMENT LAW.

YOUR DECISION IS, THEREFORE, REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES

(A) THE ANNUITY SHOULD BE SUSPENDED DURING THE REEMPLOYMENT PERIOD AND THEN RESUMED AT THE ORIGINAL RATES; OR

(B) ANNUITY SHOULD BE PAID WITHOUT INTERRUPTION CONCURRENTLY WITH THE SERVICE AS UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER; OR

(C) THE SERVICE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS TERMINATING ANNUITY STATUS AND ACCORDING THE INDIVIDUAL A RETIREMENT STATUS WITH RESULTANT LIABILITY FOR RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS, AND THE ANNUITY RECOMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE SEPARATION FROM THE COMMISSIONER POSITION.

WITH RESPECT TO THE ILLUSTRATION OF THE COLLABORATOR WITHOUT COMPENSATION, YOUR RULING IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE RECEIPT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES BY SUCH EMPLOYEE WOULD AFFECT THAT SITUATION.

SECTION 2 (B) OF THE RETIREMENT ACT OF MAY 29, 1930, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 24, 1942, 56 STAT. 14, 15, AND SECTION 16 (B) OF THE ACT OF MARCH 7, 1942, 56 STAT. 147, QUOTED IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, CLEARLY AND DEFINITELY PROVIDES THAT PAYMENT OF AN ANNUITY SHALL BE TERMINATED DURING THE PERIOD AN ANNUITANT UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE RETIREMENT ACT, 46 STAT. 468, IS REEMPLOYED IN ANY APPOINTIVE OFFICE, POSITION, OR REEMPLOYMENT UNDER THE UNITED STATES OR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN THAT CONNECTION, NO DISTINCTION IS MADE IN THE STATUTE BETWEEN PERIODS OF REEMPLOYMENT WHICH ARE, AND THOSE WHICH ARE NOT, UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT. HENCE, THE CONCLUSION IS REQUIRED THAT NO ANNUITY MAY BE PAID TO AN ANNUITANT WHO RECEIVES HIS ANNUITY UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE STATUTE DURING A PERIOD OF REEMPLOYMENT REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE REEMPLOYMENT IS IN A POSITION OR EMPLOYMENT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RETIREMENT ACT--- THAT IS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE REEMPLOYMENT WOULD ENTITLE THE ANNUITANT TO FURTHER RETIREMENT CREDIT UNDER THE LAST SENTENCE OF SECTION 2 (B) OF THE STATUTE. CF. 20 COMP. GEN. 443, INVOLVING SECURITY WAGE WORKERS AND ENROLLEES IN THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS.

THE DOUBTFUL PROPOSITION INVOLVED CONCERNS QUESTION (A), NAMELY, WHETHER THE ANNUITY GRANTED TO A PERSON UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1 OF THE RETIREMENT ACT MAY BE RESUMED IN THE SAME AMOUNT AFTER TERMINATION OF ACTIVE SERVICE OF THE ANNUITANT IN A POSITION OR EMPLOYMENT NOT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RETIREMENT ACT WHICH MAY NOT FORM THE BASIS OF FURTHER RETIREMENT ACTION UNDER THE LAST SENTENCE OF SECTION 2 (B) OF THE STATUTE. IN THAT CONNECTION, COMPARE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 (B) OF THE RETIREMENT ACT, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 24, 1942, 56 STAT. 16, WHICH PROVIDES IN SPECIFIC TERMS FOR RESUMPTION OF THE ANNUITY GRANTED UNDER THAT SECTION OF THE STATUTE AFTER TERMINATION OF REEMPLOYMENT OF THE ANNUITANT IN A POSITION NOT UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT.

SECTION 2 (B) OF THE RETIREMENT ACT IS BELIEVED TO APPLY PRIMARILY TO ANNUITANTS WHO ARE RETAINED OR REEMPLOYED IN POSITIONS UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT, BUT, AS PREVIOUSLY STATED, IT IS COUCHED IN SUCH BROAD TERMS AS TO BE APPLICABLE, ALSO, TO ANNUITANTS WHO ARE REEMPLOYED IN POSITIONS OR EMPLOYMENTS NOT UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT. ADMITTEDLY, THE MATTER IS NOT ENTIRELY FREE FROM DOUBT AS REGARDS THE LATTER CLASS, BUT HAVING REGARD FOR THE FACT THAT THE ACT AS A WHOLE, WITH ALL ITS AMENDMENTS, IS DESIGNED TO GRANT BENEFITS RATHER THAN TO RESTRICT THEM, I BELIEVE THAT THE TERMS OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 (B) OF THE ACT QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER ARE SUCH AS TO IMPLY SUSPENSION OF ANNUITY PAYMENTS ONLY DURING A PERIOD OF REEMPLOYMENT, RATHER THAN TO REQUIRE A FINAL TERMINATION OF THE RIGHT TO ANNUITY. THAT IS TO SAY, AS THE SECTION PROVIDES ONLY FOR TERMINATION OF ANNUITY PAYMENTS DURING THE PERIOD OF REEMPLOYMENT THERE IS AN INFERENCE THAT THE RIGHT TO THE SAME ANNUITY REVIVES UPON TERMINATION OF REEMPLOYMENT IN A POSITION OR EMPLOYMENT NOT UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT WHICH MAY NOT BE CREDITED TOWARD A GREATER ANNUITY. COMPARE, FOR INSTANCE, SECTION 8 (A) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1933, 48 STAT. 305, PROVIDING THAT WHEN AN ANNUITANT COMING WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THAT STATUTE WAS REEMPLOYED,"THE RIGHT TO THE ANNUITY PROVIDED BY THIS SECTION SHALL CEASE," WHICH PROVISION WAS CONSTRUED TO TERMINATE ABSOLUTELY AN ANNUITY UNDER THAT STATUE EVEN THOUGH THE REEMPLOYMENT WAS IN A POSITION NOT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RETIREMENT ACT. 15 COMP. GEN. 1093.

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE LIGHT OF WHAT IS STATED ABOVE," ALTERNATIVE" QUESTION (A) IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

REFERRING TO THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE RULES ABOVE STATED WOULD PRECLUDE AN ANNUITANT UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE RETIREMENT ACT FROM RECEIVING HIS ANNUITY DURING THE PERIOD HE IS REAPPOINTED OR REEMPLOYED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 2 (B) OF THE STATUE TO ANY APPOINTIVE OFFICE, POSITION, OR EMPLOYMENT NOT UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH REEMPLOYMENT WAS TO A POSITION WITH OR WITHOUT COMPENSATION--- THE FACT THAT TRAVELING EXPENSES MAY BE PAID TO SUCH PERSON DURING HIS REEMPLOYMENT WITHOUT COMPENSATION HAVING NO BEARING UPON THE MATTER.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM YOUR LETTER AND FROM INFORMAL ADVICES THAT THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HAS DETERMINED THAT UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS DO NOT COME WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RETIREMENT ACT AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JANUARY 24, 1942. IT IS UNDERSTOOD, FURTHER, THAT SUCH DETERMINATION IS BASED UPON THE RULING MADE IN DECISION OF APRIL 25, 1935, 14 COMP. GEN. 791, PARTICULARLY UPON THE STRENGTH OF THE SENTENCE ON PAGE 792, TO WIT:

* * * AS COMPENSATION IS PROVIDED FOR THE COMMISSIONERS IN THE FORM OF FEES ONLY, SERVICE AS A UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER, EVEN UNDER AN APPOINTMENT IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING SERVICE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RETIREMENT ACT COULD NOT BE COUNTED TOWARD LONGEVITY IN COMPUTING RETIREMENT ANNUITY. * * *

IF SUCH UNDERSTANDING BE CORRECT, IT MAY BE POINTED OUT THAT AS SAID DECISION WAS RENDERED AT A TIME WHEN THE EMPLOYEES IN THE JUDICIAL BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT WERE NOT UNDER THE RETIREMENT ACT; AND AS THE ACTS OF JULY 13, 1937, 50 STAT. 512, AND SECTION 3 (A) OF THE RETIREMENT ACT AS AMENDED BY THE ACTS OF JANUARY 24, 1942, AND MARCH 7, 1942, SUPRA, SPECIFICALLY INCLUDE EMPLOYEES IN THE JUDICIAL BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RETIREMENT ACT WITHOUT ANY EXCLUSION OF INTERMITTENT EMPLOYEES OR THOSE PAID ON A FEE BASIS, AND AS THE PRESIDENT HAS NO AUTHORITY UNDER SECTION 3 (B) OF THE RETIREMENT ACT, 46 STAT. 470, TO EXCLUDE AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IN THE JUDICIAL BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT FROM THE PURVIEW OF THE RETIREMENT ACT--- HIS EXECUTIVE ORDER QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER NOT HAVING ANY APPLICATION TO SUCH EMPLOYEES BUT ONLY TO EMPLOYEES IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT--- THERE MAY BE JUSTIFICATION FOR NOW CONSIDERING UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS AS COMING WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RETIREMENT ACT EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY WORK ONLY INTERMITTENTLY AND ARE PAID ON A FEE BASIS. HOWEVER, IT IS REALIZED THAT YOUR DETERMINATION REGARDING THE RETIREMENT STATUS OF UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS IS FINAL (13 COMP. GEN. 63; 18 ID. 955; 19 ID. 352; 22 ID. 980; 23 ID. 247), IN VIEW OF WHICH THE ANSWERS STATED HEREIN, SO FAR AS THEY RELATE TO UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS, ARE BASED UPON THE COMMISSION'S NOW EXISTING DETERMINATION THAT UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS DO NOT FALL WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RETIREMENT ACT.