[Grievance Concerning Recomputation of Foreign Service Pay]

B-207676: Dec 21, 1982

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A Department of State official requested a GAO decision as to whether the agency may implement a determination by the Foreign Service Grievance Board concerning a retired employee. The employee, who had been stationed in India, was medically evacuated to the United States a few days before his tour of duty ended. Since his successor at the duty post had already been named, the employee requested, and was granted, home leave. While on home leave the employee's medical clearance to serve overseas was suspended, and he was officially transferred to a position in Washington, D.C. In the summer of 1980 the employee began to consider retirement due to the lack of a prospect for an overseas assignment. He was advised that if he retired by August 31, 1980, his annuity would be greater than if he waited until January 1, 1981, to retire. The employee had finished all necessary separation forms and had made an appointment for his separation physical prior to August 31. However, the employee was informed that retirement at that time would result in his indebtedness for the home leave he had taken, since his request for a waiver of that indebtedness had been denied. As a result, the employee deferred his retirement until such a time that he would have clearly completed the necessary duty requirements in the United States; he subsequently retired in December 1980. In January 1981, the employee filed a grievance against his agency on the basis that his retirement annuity had been reduced by virtue of his retirement after August 31, 1980, and that such deferral resulted from the agency's erroneous ruling on his request for waiver. The grievance board subsequently held that the employee would have retired in August 1980, but for the agency's administrative error in failing to waive repayment for home leave. GAO concluded that, under the circumstances, the date of separation for retirement may be made retroactively effective as of August 31, 1980, entitling the employee to a recomputation of his annuity.

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