Entitlement to Retired Pay

B-198557: Jul 17, 1980

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

The Deputy Assistant Comptroller for Accounting and Finance, United States Air Force asked if a retired regular officer of the Air Force is entitled to retired pay when he accepts employment and compensation from a foreign government after receiving approval from the Secretary of the Air Force but prior to the granting of approval by the Secretary of State. The officer accepted employment with El Al Airlines on February 19, 1978, after receiving the approval of the Air Force, but did not receive State Department approval until March 31, l980. The State Department approval indicated that it was granted as of the date of the original application, March 5, 1978, or on a literal reading December 5, 1977, the date of the Air Force application for approval. The question arises as to whether regular officers who accept foreign employment, without the consent of Congress, are subject to a withholding of their retired pay in an amount equal to the amounts received from the foreign government. GAO believes that his retired pay should be withheld in an amount equal to the emolument he received from El Al for his employment prior to receiving approval from the State Department. Current retired pay should be withheld in an amount equal to that received from the foreign employment, but only in an amount equal to the amount of retired pay received during the period of foreign employment, if the amounts received from the foreign employment exceed his retired pay entitlement.