[Claims for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Air Force Member]

B-251968: Jul 22, 1993

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The Defense Finance and Accounting Service requested an advance decision regarding a claim for unpaid compensation of a deceased Air Force member. GAO held that the: (1) deceased member designated his companion as his beneficiary for arrears of pay; (2) state court's decree establishing the member's presumed date of death was irrelevant, since there was credible evidence that the member died on an earlier date; (3) member's former spouse was not entitled to any of the member's retirement pay, since the divorce decree granting her a part of his retirement pay was effective after the date of his death; and (4) member's children were not entitled to any of his retirement pay, since they were not his designated beneficiaries. Accordingly, the claims were allowed in part and denied in part.