B-211591, JUN 27, 1983

B-211591: Jun 27, 1983

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HAVE CAREFULLY REVIEWED THE DOCUMENTATION ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER WHICH ESTABLISHED THAT MARY AND HENRY ROZENDAL WERE MARRIED IN JUNE 1980. ROZENDAL WAS NOT MARRIED FOR THE 1-YEAR PERIOD NECESSARY TO QUALIFY HER AS A WIDOW TO RECEIVE AN ANNUITY UNDER THE SURVIVOR BENEFIT PLAN. BECAUSE THERE IS NO EXCEPTION TO THE QUALIFYING PERIOD APPLICABLE IN HER SITUATION. 1972) MUST HAVE BEEN MARRIED TO THE SERVICE MEMBER FOR AT LEAST 1 YEAR BEFORE THE MEMBER DIES IN ORDER TO QUALIFY AS A WIDOW OR WIDOWER TO RECEIVE A SURVIVOR ANNUITY UNDER THE PLAN. THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THE 1-YEAR REQUIREMENT IS IF THERE IS "ISSUE" (A CHILD OR CHILDREN) OF THAT MARRIAGE. THESE QUALIFICATIONS ARE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR BY LAW.

B-211591, JUN 27, 1983

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE HONORABLE BILL CHAPPELL MEMBER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

WE REFER AGAIN TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 13, 1983, CONCERNING MRS. MARY D. ROZENDAL'S ENTITLEMENT TO AN ANNUITY UNDER THE SURVIVOR BENEFIT PLAN (10 U.S.C. SECS. 1447-1455) AS A RESULT OF THE DEATH OF HER HUSBAND, REAR ADMIRAL HENRY DIRK ROZENDAL, USN, WHO RETIRED FROM THE NAVY IN 1951. HAVE CAREFULLY REVIEWED THE DOCUMENTATION ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER WHICH ESTABLISHED THAT MARY AND HENRY ROZENDAL WERE MARRIED IN JUNE 1980, ONLY 9 MONTHS BEFORE ADMIRAL ROZENDAL'S DEATH IN MARCH 1981. SINCE MRS. ROZENDAL WAS NOT MARRIED FOR THE 1-YEAR PERIOD NECESSARY TO QUALIFY HER AS A WIDOW TO RECEIVE AN ANNUITY UNDER THE SURVIVOR BENEFIT PLAN, AND BECAUSE THERE IS NO EXCEPTION TO THE QUALIFYING PERIOD APPLICABLE IN HER SITUATION, SHE MAY NOT RECEIVE A SURVIVOR ANNUITY UNDER THE LAW.

PERSONS, SUCH AS MRS. ROZENDAL IN THIS CASE, MARRYING SERVICE MEMBERS AFTER THE MEMBER HAS RETIRED AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE SURVIVOR BENEFIT PLAN (SEPTEMBER 21, 1972) MUST HAVE BEEN MARRIED TO THE SERVICE MEMBER FOR AT LEAST 1 YEAR BEFORE THE MEMBER DIES IN ORDER TO QUALIFY AS A WIDOW OR WIDOWER TO RECEIVE A SURVIVOR ANNUITY UNDER THE PLAN. THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THE 1-YEAR REQUIREMENT IS IF THERE IS "ISSUE" (A CHILD OR CHILDREN) OF THAT MARRIAGE, WHICH DID NOT OCCUR IN THIS CASE. THESE QUALIFICATIONS ARE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR BY LAW, AND WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO GRANT EXCEPTIONS TO THEM. SEE 10 U.S.C. SEC. 1447(3), AND MATTER OF BRAXTON, B-189133, SEPTEMBER 21, 1977; MATTER OF METZLER, 56 COMP.GEN. 1022 (1977), COPIES ENCLOSED. UNFORTUNATELY, ADMIRAL ROZENDAL'S DEATH IN MARCH 1981 DID NOT ALLOW HIS SURVIVING SPOUSE TO QUALIFY AS A WIDOW FOR A SURVIVOR ANNUITY.

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