B-80767, MARCH 4, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 498

B-80767: Mar 4, 1949

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

ARE ENTITLED. THERE IS NO BASIS UNDER THE 1923 ACT FOR PAYING RETIRED MEMBERS OF SUCH FORCES AN INCREASE IN PENSION BENEFITS. THE QUESTIONS ARE STATED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS: 1. ARE RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE ENTITLED TO INCREASE IN THEIR PENSION BENEFITS AND. ARE THE RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE WHITE HOUSE POLICE FORCE ENTITLED TO AN INCREASE IN BENEFIT PAYMENTS AND. ARE THE RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES PARK POLICE. SO FAR AS THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED ARE CONCERNED. HAVE BEEN EXTENDED ONLY TO ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE. THE RETIRED MEMBERS OF WHICH ARE CLAIMING THE BENEFITS UNDER THE SO-CALLED " EQUALIZATION ACT. WHICH PROVIDES: THAT ON AND AFTER THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT ALL PERSONS UPON THE PENSION ROLLS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHO WERE GRANTED RELIEF IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAWS ENACTED PRIOR TO DECEMBER 5.

B-80767, MARCH 4, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 498

PENSIONS - INCREASED IN BENEFITS - RETIRED MEMBERS OF U.S. SECRET SERVICE, WHITE HOUSE AND U.S. PARK POLICE FORCES RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE RECEIVING RETIREMENT BENEFITS FROM THE POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN'S RELIEF FUND, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ARE ENTITLED, BY VIRTUE OF THE PENSION EQUALIZATION PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 17, 1923, TO INCREASE IN PENSION BENEFITS ON ACCOUNT OF THE INCREASE IN PAY WHICH ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE SERVICE RECEIVED AS A RESULT OF THE ENACTMENT OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948; HOWEVER, SINCE MEMBERS OF THE WHITE HOUSE AND UNITED STATES PARK POLICE FORCES DID NOT RECEIVE AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION BY REASON OF THE ENACTMENT OF THE 1948 SALARY ACT, THERE IS NO BASIS UNDER THE 1923 ACT FOR PAYING RETIRED MEMBERS OF SUCH FORCES AN INCREASE IN PENSION BENEFITS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MARCH 4, 1949:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 8, 1948, IN WHICH YOU PRESENT FOR DECISION SEVERAL QUESTIONS, INFRA, INVOLVING THE EFFECT OF THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE III OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, PUBLIC LAW 900, APPROVED JULY 3, 1948, 62 STAT. 1267, UPON THE AMOUNT PAYABLE TO CERTAIN PERSONS RECEIVING RETIREMENT BENEFITS FROM THE POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN'S RELIEF FUND, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. SPECIFICALLY, THE QUESTIONS ARE STATED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

1. ARE RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE ENTITLED TO INCREASE IN THEIR PENSION BENEFITS AND, IF SO, WHAT WOULD BE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH INCREASE?

2. ARE THE RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE WHITE HOUSE POLICE FORCE ENTITLED TO AN INCREASE IN BENEFIT PAYMENTS AND, IF SO, WHAT WOULD BE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH INCREASE?

3. ARE THE RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES PARK POLICE, SALARY AS WELL AS BENEFIT PAYMENTS PAID WHOLLY FROM DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA REVENUES, ENTITLED TO PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN BENEFIT PAYMENTS AND, IF SO, WHAT WOULD BE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH INCREASE?

SO FAR AS THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED ARE CONCERNED, YOUR LETTER POINTS OUT THAT THE BENEFITS OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, SUPRA, HAVE BEEN EXTENDED ONLY TO ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, THE RETIRED MEMBERS OF WHICH ARE CLAIMING THE BENEFITS UNDER THE SO-CALLED " EQUALIZATION ACT," APPROVED FEBRUARY 17, 1923, 42 STAT. 1263, WHICH PROVIDES:

THAT ON AND AFTER THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT ALL PERSONS UPON THE PENSION ROLLS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHO WERE GRANTED RELIEF IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAWS ENACTED PRIOR TO DECEMBER 5, 1919, SHALL RECEIVE SUCH RELIEF AS IS ALLOWABLE UNDER EXISTING LAW, AND ALL PERSONS NOW OR HEREAFTER RECEIVING RELIEF FROM THE POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN'S RELIEF FUND SHALL ALSO BE ENTITLED TO ALL PENSION BENEFITS RESULTING FROM ANY INCREASE IN PAY THAT HAS OR MAY HEREAFTER BE GRANTED BY CONGRESS: PROVIDED, THAT NO ARREARS OF PENSION SHALL BE GRANTED FOR ANY PERIOD PRIOR TO AN APPLICATION FOR AN INCREASE IN PENSION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT ANY WIDOW ENTITLED TO RELIEF FROM THE POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN'S RELIEF FUND MAY HEREAFTER RECEIVE NOT MORE THAN $60 PER MONTH.

SEC. 2. THAT ALL ACTS AND PARTS OF ACTS TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY ARE INCONSISTENT WITH THIS ACT ARE HEREBY REPEALED.

ORIGINALLY, THE ONLY PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE RETIREMENT BENEFITS FROM THE POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN'S RELIEF FUND, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA--- WHICH WAS CREATED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1916, 39 STAT. 718--- WERE MEMBERS OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. HOWEVER, BY VARIOUS SUBSEQUENT ENACTMENTS THE WHITE HOUSE POLICE, UNITED STATES PARK POLICE, AND CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE (54 STAT. 1118) WERE MADE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE RETIREMENT BENEFITS FROM THAT FUND. NO STATUTORY LIMITATION UPON THE EXTENT OF THE PARTICIPATION, ONCE ELIGIBILITY HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED, HAS BEEN FOUND. UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 17, 1923, SUPRA, IT IS EXPRESSLY PROVIDED THAT "ALL PERSONS NOW OR HEREAFTER RECEIVING RELIEF FROM THE POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN'S RELIEF FUND SHALL ALSO BE ENTITLED TO ALL PENSION BENEFITS RESULTING FROM ANY INCREASE IN PAY THAT HAS OR MAY HEREAFTER BE GRANTED BY CONGRESS.' CLEARLY, UNDER THAT WORDING INCREASES IN PAY ARE TO BE REFLECTED IN PENSION BENEFITS TO PERSONS RECEIVING RELIEF FROM THE POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN'S RELIEF FUND. THEREFORE, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF SOME OTHER PERTINENT PROVISION OF LAW, THERE IS NO QUESTION BUT THAT PERSONS RECEIVING RETIREMENT BENEFITS FROM THE POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN'S RELIEF FUND AS RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE ARE ENTITLED TO INCREASE IN PENSION BENEFITS ON ACCOUNT OF THE INCREASE IN PAY WHICH ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE RECEIVE AS AS RESULT OF THE ENACTMENT OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, SUPRA. MY ATTENTION HAS NOT BEEN INVITED TO, NOR DO I KNOW OF, ANY PROVISION OF LAW WHICH WOULD WARRANT MY ARRIVING AT A DIFFERENT CONCLUSION.

AS TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE INCREASE, THERE IS FOR NOTING THE FIRST PROVISO OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 17, 1923, SUPRA, WHICH MAKES THE EFFECTIVE DATE IN THE CASE OF EACH PERSON AFFECTED THE DATE OF MAKING APPLICATION FOR THE INCREASED PENSION. YOUR FIRST QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

SINCE MEMBERS OF THE WHITE HOUSE POLICE FORCE AND THE UNITED STATES PARK POLICE FORCE DID NOT RECEIVE AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION BY REASON OF THE ENACTMENT OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, THERE IS NO BASIS UNDER THE 1923 ACT FOR PAYING RETIRED MEMBERS OF SUCH FORCES IN INCREASE IN BENEFITS PAYMENTS. THEREFORE, THE FIRST PART OF QUESTION 2 AND 3 IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE, RENDERING UNNECESSARY AN ANSWER TO THE SECOND PART OF EACH OF SAID QUESTIONS.