B-88205, AUGUST 19, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 87

B-88205: Aug 19, 1949

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WHO HAVE RECEIVED LUMP-SUM PAYMENTS UNDER THEN EXISTING RETIREMENT LAWS WHICH SPECIFICALLY HAVE BEEN REPEALED BY THE 1949 ACT. 1949: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 26. WHO SHALL HAVE DIED SUBSEQUENT TO THAT DATE. THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THAT SECTION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT FOR A LUMP-SUM PAYMENT TO ANYONE ENTITLED TO AN ANNUITY THEREUNDER. WAS THE ONLY ACT GOVERNING SUCH MATTERS IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 28. IT FOLLOWS THAT THE LUMP-SUM PAYMENT MUST BE REFUNDED IF AN ANNUITY IS TO BE PAID. IN CASES IN WHICH THE SURVIVORS OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO THE ANNUITY RECEIVED THE LUMP SUM PAYMENT AND ARE NOT IN A POSITION FINANCIALLY TO MAKE THE REFUND. IF LUMP SUM PAYMENTS WERE MADE TO OTHER PERSONS THAN THOSE ENTITLED TO ANNUITIES UNDER SECTION 12 (C) OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT.

B-88205, AUGUST 19, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 87

RETIREMENT - ANNUITIES - SURVIVORS OF ALASKA RAILROAD AND PANAMA CANAL EMPLOYEES IN VIEW OF SECTION 7 (D) OF THE ACT OF JULY 21, 1949, APPLYING, AS OF FEBRUARY 28, 1948, THE SURVIVOR ANNUITY PROVISIONS OF SECTION 12 (C) OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT, AS AMENDED, TO EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL AND ALASKA RAILROAD, SURVIVORS OF DECEASED EMPLOYEES OF SUCH AGENCIES WHO DIED AFTER FEBRUARY 28, 1948, AND WHO HAVE RECEIVED LUMP-SUM PAYMENTS UNDER THEN EXISTING RETIREMENT LAWS WHICH SPECIFICALLY HAVE BEEN REPEALED BY THE 1949 ACT, MUST REFUND THE LUMP SUM PAYMENTS BEFORE RECEIVING THE SURVIVOR ANNUITY TO WHICH THEY BECAME ENTITLED BY VIRTUE OF THE 1949 ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, AUGUST 19, 1949:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 26, 1949, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER SURVIVORS OF DECEASED FORMER EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL AND ALASKA RAILROAD WHO DIED AFTER FEBRUARY 28, 1948, WITH AT LEAST 5 YEARS OF SERVICE, WOULD BE REQUIRED TO REFUND THE LUMP-SUM PAYMENT PREVIOUSLY MADE TO THEM UNDER THE THEN EXISTING RETIREMENT LAWS APPLICABLE TO SUCH SERVICES BEFORE RECEIVING THE ANNUITY TO WHICH THEY BECAME ENTITLED UNDER THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT AS EXTENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 21, 1949, PUBLIC LAW 180, 63 STAT. 475.

THE SAID ACT OF JULY 21, 1949, SPECIFICALLY REPEALS THE ALASKA RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACT OF JUNE 29, 1936, AS AMENDED, AND SECTIONS 91 TO 107 OF THE CANAL ZONE CODE AND GENERALLY EXTENDS TO EMPLOYEES AND FORMER EMPLOYEES OF THESE AGENCIES THE BENEFITS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT EFFECTIVE FROM APRIL 1, 1948, WITH SOME EXCEPTIONS AS TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE. SECTION 7 (D) OF PUBLIC LAW 180, 63 STAT. 477, PROVIDES:

(D) THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 12 (C) OF THE ACT OF MAY 29, 1930, AS AMENDED, SHALL APPLY AS OF FEBRUARY 28, 1948, IN THE CASE OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WITHIN THE COVERAGE OF THE ALASKA RETIREMENT ACT, AS AMENDED, OR THE CANAL ZONE RETIREMENT ACT, AS AMENDED, WHO SHALL HAVE DIED SUBSEQUENT TO THAT DATE.

SECTION 12 (C) OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT AS AMENDED BY SECTION 11 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1948, PUBLIC LAW 426, 62 STAT. 54, PROVIDES THAT IN CASE ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE TO WHOM THE ACT APPLIES SHALL DIE AFTER HAVING RENDERED AT LEAST 5 YEARS' SERVICE, THE WIDOW AND/OR CHILDREN MAY BE PAID ANNUITIES COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FORMULA PRESCRIBED IN SAID SECTION. THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THAT SECTION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT FOR A LUMP-SUM PAYMENT TO ANYONE ENTITLED TO AN ANNUITY THEREUNDER. THE RIGHTS UNDER THAT SECTION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT AS EXTENDED TO SURVIVORS OF EMPLOYEES OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD AND PANAMA CANAL MUST BE ASCERTAINED AS THOUGH THE SAID SECTION 12 (C) AS AMENDED, SUPRA, WAS THE ONLY ACT GOVERNING SUCH MATTERS IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 28, 1948, TO JULY 21, 1949. CONSEQUENTLY, AS IT MAKES NO PROVISION FOR A LUMP SUM PAYMENT IN ADDITION TO AN ANNUITY, IT FOLLOWS THAT THE LUMP-SUM PAYMENT MUST BE REFUNDED IF AN ANNUITY IS TO BE PAID. IN CASES IN WHICH THE SURVIVORS OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO THE ANNUITY RECEIVED THE LUMP SUM PAYMENT AND ARE NOT IN A POSITION FINANCIALLY TO MAKE THE REFUND, THE ANNUITY MIGHT BE PROCESSED AND ANNUITY PAYMENTS WITHHELD AS THEY FALL DUE UNTIL THE LUMP-SUM PAYMENT HAS BEEN FULLY RECOUPED. IF LUMP SUM PAYMENTS WERE MADE TO OTHER PERSONS THAN THOSE ENTITLED TO ANNUITIES UNDER SECTION 12 (C) OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACT, THE ANNUITY PAYMENTS NEED NOT BE DELAYED UNTIL THE LUMP- SUM PAYMENTS ARE REFUNDED, BUT PROMPT STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN TO RECOVER SUCH UNAUTHORIZED PAYMENTS.