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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of July 29, 2014

Title 5: Administrative Personnel


PART 841—FEDERAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM—GENERAL ADMINISTRATION


Contents

Subpart A—General Provisions

§841.101   Purpose.
§841.102   Regulatory structure for the Federal Employees Retirement System.
§841.103   Definitions.
§841.104   Special terms defined.
§841.105   Administration of FERS.
§841.106   Basic records.
§841.107   Computation of interest.
§841.108   Disclosure of information.
§841.109   Computation of time.
§841.110   Garnishment of FERS payments.
§841.111   Garnishment of payments after disbursement.

Subpart B—Applications for Benefits

§841.201   Purpose.
§841.202   Applications required.
§841.203   Withdrawal of applications.
§841.204   Deemed application to protect survivors.

Subpart C—Claims Processing

§841.301   Purpose.
§841.302   Definitions.
§841.303   Applications filed with agencies.
§841.304   Applications filed with OPM.
§841.305   Decisions subject to reconsideration.
§841.306   Reconsideration.
§841.307   Final decisions without reconsideration.
§841.308   Appeals to MSPB.
§841.309   Competing claimants.

Subpart D—Government Costs

§841.401   Purpose and scope.
§841.402   Definitions.
§841.403   Categories of employees for computation of normal cost percentages.
§841.404   Demographic factors.
§841.405   Economic assumptions.
§841.406   Determination of normal cost percentages.
§841.407   Notice of normal cost percentage determinations.
§841.408   Effective date of normal cost percentages.
§841.409   Agency appeal right.
§841.410   Contents of petition for appeal.
§841.411   Appeals procedure.
§841.412   Rates determined by appeal.
§841.413   Determinations of amount due from each agency.

Subpart E—Employee Deductions and Government Contributions

§841.501   Purpose.
§841.502   Definitions.
§841.503   Amounts of employee deductions.
§841.504   Agency responsibilities.
§841.505   Correction of error.
§841.506   Effect of part 772 of this chapter on FERS payments.
§841.507   Correction of unjustified or unwarranted personnel action.
§841.508   Effective date.

Subpart F—Computation of Interest

§841.601   Purpose.
§841.602   Definitions.
§841.603   Rate of interest.
§841.604   Interest on service credit deposits.
§841.605   Interest included in the unexpended balance.
§841.606   Interest on survivor reduction deposits.
§841.607   Interest on overpayment debts.

Subpart G—Cost-of-Living Adjustments

§841.701   Purpose and scope.
§841.702   Definitions.
§841.703   Increases on basic annuities and survivor annuities.
§841.704   Proration of COLA's.
§841.705   Increases on basic employee death benefits.
§841.706   Increases on combined CSRS/FERS annuities.
§841.707   COLA's affecting computation of survivor supplements.
§841.708   Special provisions affecting retired military reserve technicians.

Subpart H—Waiver of Benefits

§841.801   Purpose.
§841.802   Definitions.
§841.803   Waiver of annuity.
§841.804   Waivers and court orders.

Subpart I [Reserved]

Subpart J—State Income Tax Withholding

§841.1001   Purpose.
§841.1002   Definitions.
§841.1003   Federal-State agreements.
§841.1004   OPM responsibilities.
§841.1005   State responsibilities.
§841.1006   Additional provisions.
§841.1007   Agreement modification and termination.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 8461; Sec. 841.108 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552a; Secs. 841.110 and 841.111 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8470(a); subpart D also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8423; Sec. 841.504 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8422; Sec. 841.507 also issued under section 505 of Pub. L. 99-335; subpart J also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8469; Sec. 841.506 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 7701(b)(2); Sec. 841.508 also issued under section 505 of Pub. L. 99-335; Sec. 841.604 also issued under Title II, Pub. L. 106-265, 114 Stat. 780.

Subpart A—General Provisions

Source: 52 FR 19242, May 21, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

§841.101   Purpose.

The purpose of this subpart is to state the administrative rules governing the operations of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) that have general application to the basic benefits under FERS.

§841.102   Regulatory structure for the Federal Employees Retirement System.

(a) This part contains the following subparts:

(1) General provisions (subpart A);

(2) Applications for benefits (subpart B);

(3) Claims processing (subpart C);

(4) Government costs (subpart D);

(5) Employee deductions and Government contributions (subpart E);

(6) Computing interest (subpart F);

(7) Cost-of-Living Adjustments (subpart G);

(8) Waiver, allotment, or assignment of benefits (subpart H);

(9) Court orders affecting benefits (subpart I); and

(10) State income tax withholding (subpart J).

(b)(1) Part 842 of this chapter contains information about basic annuity rights of employees and Members under FERS.

(2) Part 843 of this chapter contains information about death benefits and employee refunds under FERS.

(3) Part 844 of this chapter contains information about disability retirement benefits under FERS.

(4) Part 845 of this chapter contains information about debt collection.

(5) Part 846 of this chapter contains information about election rights available to employees who are eligible to join FERS.

(c)(1) Part 831 of this chapter contains information about the Civil Service Retirement System.

(2) Part 835 of this chapter contains information about debt collection from FERS benefits.

(3) Part 837 of this chapter contains information about reemployment of FERS annuitants.

(4) Part 838 of this chapter contains information about court orders affecting FERS benefits.

(5) Part 847 of this chapter contains information about elections under the Civil Service Retirement System or FERS relating to periods of service with a nonappropriated fund instrumentality under the jurisdiction of the armed forces.

(6) Parts 294 and 297 of this chapter and §§831.106 and 841.108 of this chapter contain information about disclosure of information from OPM records.

(7) Part 581 of this chapter contains information about garnishment of Government payments including salary and CSRS and FERS retirement benefits.

(8) Parts 870, 871, 872, and 873 of this chapter contain information about the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program.

(9) Part 890 of this chapter contains information about coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

(10) Chapter II (parts 1200 through 1299) of this title contains information about appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board.

(11) Chapter VI (parts 1600 through 1699) of this title contains information about the Federal Employees Thrift Savings Plan.

[52 FR 19242, May 21, 1987, as amended at 55 FR 14229, Apr. 17, 1990; 61 FR 41720, Aug. 9, 1996]

§841.103   Definitions.

In this subpart—

CSRS means the Civil Service Retirement System as described in subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code.

FERS means the Federal Employees Retirement System as described in chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code.

§841.104   Special terms defined.

(a) Unless otherwise defined for use in any subpart, as used in connection with FERS (parts 841 through 846 of this chapter), terms defined in section 8401 of title 5, United States Code, have the same meanings assigned to them by that section.

(b) Unless otherwise defined for use in any subpart, as used in connection with FERS (parts 841 through 846 of this chapter)—

Agency means an executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code; a legislative branch agency; a judicial agency; and the U.S. Postal Service and Postal Rate Commission.

Associate Director means the Associate Director for Retirement and Insurance in OPM, or his or her designee.

OPM means the Office of Personnel Management.

§841.105   Administration of FERS.

(a) OPM has charge of the adjudication of all claims for basic benefits arising under FERS and of all matters directly or indirectly concerned with these adjudications.

(b) In the adjudication of claims arising under FERS, OPM will consider and take appropriate action on counterclaims filed by the Government as set-offs against amounts payable from the Civil Service Retirement Fund.

§841.106   Basic records.

(a) Agencies having employees or Members subject to FERS must establish and maintain retirement accounts for those employees and Members.

(b)(1) The individual retirement record required by §841.504(c) is the basic record for action on all claims for annuity or refund, and those pertaining to deceased employees, deceased Members, or deceased annuitants.

(2) When the official records repository for the records in question certifies that the records in question are lost, destroyed, or incomplete, OPM will accept such inferior or secondary evidence that it considers appropriate under the circumstances, and such inferior or secondary evidence is then admissible.

(3) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, inferior or secondary evidence will not be considered.

[52 FR 19242, May 21, 1987, as amended at 57 FR 32154, July 21, 1992]

§841.107   Computation of interest.

Interest, when applicable, will be computed under subpart F of this part.

§841.108   Disclosure of information.

(a)(1) Except as provided in section 8461 of title 5, United States Code, OPM has in its possession or under its control records containing the following types of information:

(i) Documentation of Federal service subject to FERS.

(ii) Documentation of service credit and refund claims made under FERS.

(iii) Retirement and death claims files, including documents supporting the retirement application, health benefits and life insurance eligibility, medical records supporting disability claims, and designations of beneficiaries.

(iv) Claims review and correspondence files pertaining to benefits under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

(v) Documentation of claims made for life insurance and health benefits by annuitants under a Federal Government retirement system other than FERS.

(2) These records may be disclosed to the individual to whom the information pertains, or, with prior written consent of the individual, to any agency or other person, except that medical evidence about which a prudent physician would hesitate to inform the individual, will be disclosed only to a licensed physician designated in writing for that purpose by the individual or by his or her representative.

(3) Federal employee retirement records will be disclosed consistent with the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), including, but not limited to, disclosures pursuant to a routine use promulgated for such records and printed in OPM's periodic publication of notices of systems of records. However, a beneficiary designated in accordance with FERS (5 U.S.C. 8424(c)) will, during the lifetime of the designator, be disclosed to the designator only, at his or her signed written request. Such beneficiary designations that may appear in records being disclosed to other than the designator must be removed before the record is disclosed. If information pertaining to a designation of beneficiary is specifically asked for by a court of competent jurisdiction, it may be released to the court, but with a written notice that it is released under protest.

(4) Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section, OPM will not disclose information from the files, records, reports, or other papers and documents pertaining to a claim filed with OPM, whether potential, pending, or adjudicated. This information is privileged and confidential.

(b) On written request OPM will return, to the person entitled to them, certificates of discharge, adoption papers, marriage certificates, decrees of divorce, letters testamentary or of administration, when they are no longer needed in the settlement of the claim. If papers returned constitute part of the material and essential evidence in a claim, OPM will retain copies of them or of the parts of them that appear to be of evidentiary value.

§841.109   Computation of time.

In computing a period of time for filing documents, the day of the action or event after which the designated period of time begins to run is not included. The last day of the period is included unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday; in this event, the period runs until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday.

§841.110   Garnishment of FERS payments.

FERS payments are not subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment or other legal process except as expressly provided by Federal law.

[76 FR 9962, Feb. 23, 2011]

§841.111   Garnishment of payments after disbursement.

(a) Payments that are covered by 5 U.S.C. 8470(a) and made by direct deposit are subject to 31 CFR part 212, Garnishment of Accounts Containing Federal Benefit Payments.

(b) This section may be amended only by a rulemaking issued jointly by the Department of the Treasury and the agencies defined as a “benefit agency” in 31 CFR part 212.

[76 FR 9962, Feb. 23, 2011]

Subpart B—Applications for Benefits

Source: 52 FR 19244, May 21, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

§841.201   Purpose.

This subpart states the general application requirement applicable under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Specific application requirements for particular benefits are contained with the regulations concerning those benefits.

§841.202   Applications required.

(a) No benefit is payable under FERS, until after the claimant has applied for the benefit in the form prescribed by OPM.

(b) An employee, Member, or survivor may exercise any option or make any election authorized by FERS only in the form prescribed by OPM.

§841.203   Withdrawal of applications.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, an applicant for benefits under FERS may withdraw his or her application for benefits until a payment based on that application has been authorized, but not thereafter.

(b) An applicant for benefits under FERS may not withdraw his or her application for benefits after OPM has received a certified copy of a court order (under part 581 of this chapter or subpart I of this part) affecting the benefits.

(c) When an “appropriate authority” determines that the separation upon which payment has been based is an “unjustified or unwarranted personnel action” as these terms are defined in §550.804 of this chapter, an individual may withdraw his/her application for FERS benefits within 60 days of the decision. As provided in §550.805, any FERS payments must be deducted from any back pay award.

§841.204   Deemed application to protect survivors.

(a) A former employee is deemed to have filed an application for annuity if the former employee—

(1) Was not reemployed in a position subject to FERS under subpart A of part 842 of this chapter on the date of death;

(2) Dies after separation from Federal service but before actually filing an application for benefits; and

(3) At the time of separation from Federal service, was eligible for an immediate annuity under §842.204(a)(1) and was eligible to elect to postpone the commencing date of that annuity under §842.204(c) of this chapter.

(b) For the purpose of determining entitlement to a survivor annuity, a former employee who is deemed to have filed an application under paragraph (a) of this section is considered to have died as a retiree.

(c) For purposes of determining the amount of a survivor annuity, the annuity of a former employee who, under paragraph (a) of this section, is deemed to have filed an application is computed as though the commencing date were the first day of the month after the former employee's death.

[55 FR 994, Jan. 11, 1990, as amended at 55 FR 41179, Oct. 10, 1990]

Subpart C—Claims Processing

Source: 52 FR 19244, May 21, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

§841.301   Purpose.

(a) This subpart explains—

(1) The procedures that employees. separated employees, retirees, and survivors must follow in applying for benefits under FERS;

(2) The procedures that OPM will generally follow in determining eligibility for benefits under FERS;

(3) The appeal rights available to claimants adversely affected by OPM decisions under FERS; and

(4) The special rules for processing competing claimant cases under FERS.

(b) This subpart does not apply to processing—

(1) Forfeiture of annuity for conviction of certain criminal offenses relating to national security under subchapter II of chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code (processed under subpart K of part 831 of this chapter);

(2) Court orders affecting FERS benefits (processed under subpart I of this part); or

(3) Collection of debts due to the United States (processed under part 845 of this chapter).

§841.302   Definitions.

In this subpart—

Employee means an employee as defined in section 8401(11) of title 5, United States Code, and a Member as defined in section 8401(20) of title 5, United States Code. Employee includes a person who had applied for retirement under FERS but had not been separated from the service prior to his or her death even if the person's retirement would have been retroactively effective upon separation.

FERS means the Federal Employees Retirement System as described in chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code.

MSPB means the Merit Systems Protection Board described in chapter 12 of title 5, United States Code.

Retiree means a former employee or Member who is receiving recurring payments under FERS based on service by the employee or Member. Retiree, as used in this subpart, does not include a current spouse, former spouse, child, or person with an insurable interest receiving a survivor annuity. Retiree for purposes of determining a person's status at the time of death means that the person had been separated from the service and had met all the requirements to receive an annuity including having filed an application for the annuity prior to his or her death.

Separated employee means a former employee or Member who has been separated from the service but who has not met all the requirements for retirement under FERS or who has not filed an application for retirement under FERS.

Survivor means a person entitled to benefits under part 843 or 846 of this chapter based on the death of an employee, separated employee, retiree, or survivor.

§841.303   Applications filed with agencies.

(a) Employees filing applications for retirement or to make deposits or redeposits under FERS (including applications for disability retirement) and separating employees filing applications for refunds of contributions must file their applications with their employing agencies.

(b) Survivors filing applications for death benefits based on the death of an employee may file their applications with the employee's employing agency.

§841.304   Applications filed with OPM.

(a) Separated employees filing applications for retirement or refunds of contributions; survivors filing applications for death benefits based on the deaths of separated employees, retirees, or survivors; and retirees making elections or seeking to change information in their retirement records must file their applications with OPM.

(b) Survivors filing applications for death benefits based on the death of an employee may file their applications with OPM.

§841.305   Decisions subject to reconsideration.

(a) A OPM decision under FERS is subject to reconsideration by OPM, whenever the decision is in writing and states the right to reconsideration.

(b) OPM will reconsider a decision subject to reconsideration under §841.306. A decision subject to reconsideration is not subject to appeal under §841.308.

§841.306   Reconsideration.

(a) Who may file. Except as noted in paragraph (b) of this section, any individual whose rights or interests under FERS are affected by an OPM decision (under §841.305) stating the right to request reconsideration may request OPM to review its initial decision.

(b) Actions covered elsewhere. (1) A request for reconsideration of termination of annuity payments under 5 U.S.C. 8311 through 22 will be made in accordance with the procedures set out in subpart K of part 831 of this chapter.

(2) A request for reconsideration of a decision to collect a debt will be made in accordance with §845.204(b).

(3) A decision on court orders affecting FERS benefits will be made in accordance with subpart I of this part.

(c) Reconsideration. A request for reconsideration, when applicable, must be in writing, must include the applicant's name, address, date of birth and claim number, if applicable, and must state the basis for the request.

(d) Time limits on reconsideration. (1) A request for reconsideration must be received by OPM within 30 calendar days from the date of the initial decision.

(2) The Associate Director's representative responsible for reconsiderations may extend the time limit for filing when the requestor shows that he or she was not notified of the time limit and was not otherwise aware of it, or that he or she was prevented by circumstances beyond his or her control from making the request within the time limit.

(e) Final decision. After any applicable reconsideration, the Associate Director's representative will issue a final decision that must be in writing, must fully set forth the findings and conclusions of the reconsideration, and must contain notice of the right to request an appeal provided in §841.308. Copies of the final decision must be sent to the individual, to any competing claimants and, where applicable, to the agency.

§841.307   Final decisions without reconsideration.

OPM may issue a final decision providing the opportunity to appeal under §841.308 rather than an opportunity to request reconsideration under §841.306. Such a decision must be in writing and state the right to appeal under §841.308.

§841.308   Appeals to MSPB.

Except as noted in this paragraph, an individual whose rights or interests under FERS are affected by a final decision of OPM may request MSPB to review the decision in accord with procedures prescribed by MSPB. Decisions made in accord with the procedures referenced in §841.306(b)(1) are made under subchapter II of chapter 83, title 5, United States Code. Such decisions are not appealable to MSPB under section 8461(e) of title 5, United States Code.

§841.309   Competing claimants.

(a) Competing claimants are applicants for survivor benefits based on the service of an employee, separated employee, or retiree when—

(1) A benefit is payable based on the service of the employee, separated employee, or retiree; and

(2) Two or more claimants have applied for benefits based on the service of the employee, separated employee, or retiree; and

(3) An OPM decision in favor of one claimant will adversely affect another claimant(s).

(b) In cases involving competing claimants, the Associate Director or his or her designee will issue a final decision that will be in writing, will fully set forth findings and conclusions, and will contain notice of the right to appeal provided in §841.308. Copies of the final decision will be sent to all competing claimants.

(c)(1) When OPM receives applications from competing claimants before any payments are made based on the service of the employee or Member, OPM will begin payments to the claimant(s) found entitled in the decision issued under paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) When OPM does not receive an application from a competing claimant(s) until after another person has begun to receive payments based on the service of the employee or Member, the payments will continue until a decision is issued under paragraph (b) of this section. When a decision is issued under paragraph (b) of this section, OPM will—

(i) If OPM affirms its earlier decision, continue payments to the claimant(s) OPM originally determined to be entitled; or

(ii) If OPM reverses its earlier decision, suspend payment to the claimant(s) OPM originally determined to be entitled and immediately begin payment to the claimant(s) OPM determines to be entitled in its decision under paragraph (b) of this section. OPM will not take action to collect the overpayment until the time limit for filing an appeal has expired or the MSPB has issued a final decision on a timely appeal, whichever comes later.

Subpart D—Government Costs

Source: 51 FR 47187, Dec. 31, 1986, unless otherwise noted.

§841.401   Purpose and scope.

(a) The purpose of this subpart is to regulate the Government contributions to the Civil Service Retirement Fund under FERS.

(b) This subpart covers—

(1) Factors considered in the computation of agency contributions under FERS;

(2) Publication of notice of the normal cost rates for each category of employees;

(3) Agency appeals of rate determinations; and

(4) Methodology for determining the amount due from each agency.

§841.402   Definitions.

In this subpart—

Actuary means an associate or fellow in the Society of Actuaries and one who is enrolled under section 3042 of Pub. L. 93-406, the “Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.”

Administrative expenses means the normal cost loading applicable to the administration of FERS.

Age means age, as of the beginning of the fiscal year, rounded to the nearest birthday.

Agency head means, for the executive branch agencies, the head of an executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105; for the legislative branch, the Secretary of the Senate, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, or the head of any other legislative branch agency; for the judicial branch, the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts; for the Postal Service, the Postmaster General; for any other independent establishment that is an entity of the Federal Government, the head of the establishment.

Board means the Board of Actuaries of the Civil Service Retirement System.

Category of employees means a grouping of employees under §841.403.

Child survivor termination and death rates means the rate, by age of the child, at which child survivor benefits terminate.

CSRS means subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code.

Death and recovery rates for disability annuitants means the rate, by age, sex, and duration on the roll, at which disability annuitants are removed from the annuity roll because of death; and the rate, by age, sex, and duration on the roll, at which disability annuitants are removed from the annuity roll because of recovery or restoration to earning capacity.

Death and remarriage rates for surviving spouses means the rate, based on the sex of the employee, age of the survivor annuitant, and the duration on the annuity roll, at which spousal survivor annuitants are removed from the annuity roll because of death; and the rate, based on the sex of the employee, age of the survivor annuitant, and the duration on the roll, at which survivor annuitants are removed from the annuity roll because of remarriage.

Death rates for non-disability annuitants means the rate, by age and sex of the annuitant, at which non- disability annuitants are removed from the annuity roll because of death.

Disability retirement rates means the rate, by age, sex, length of service, and whether the employees are eligible for social security disability benefits, at which employees retire for disability.

Duration on the roll means the number of full years on the annuity roll as of the beginning of the fiscal year.

Economic Assumptions means the assumptions used by the Board with respect to inflation, interest rates, and wage and salary growth.

Employee death rates means the rate, by age and sex of the employees and whether the employees are survived by spouses entitled to survivor annuities, at which employees die in service.

Employees means employees as defined in section 8401(11) of title 5, United States Code, and Members, as defined in section 8401(20) of title 5, United States Code.

Family characteristics of annuitants means, based on the annuitant's age and sex, and in some cases, on the type of annuity (regular, disability, or deferred), the number and average age of child survivors at the death of the annuitant, the percentage of annuitants with an annuity reduced to provide survivor benefits, the percentage of annuitants who actually leave a surviving spouse entitled to a survivor annuity at the annuitant's death, and the average age of the surviving spouse.

Family characteristics of employees means, based on the employee's age at death and sex, the number and average age of child survivors and the average age of the surviving spouse, per death of an employee with a survivor.

FERS means chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code.

Involuntary retirement rates means, by age and sex of the employee, the rate of involuntary retirements (discontinued service and optional early retirements).

Merit salary increases means salary increases, by age and length of service, that are not general salary increases. “Merit salary increases” include promotions and within-grade and similar increases based in whole or in part on employee performance, but do not include comparability increases, Postal Service COLA, or similar adjustments to entire pay scales; or premium pay.

Military service rates means the fraction, by age and sex, of employees who have military service to all employees, and the average length of military service and the salary on which their deposits to receive credit for military service are based for these employees.

Normal cost percentage or normal cost means the entry-age normal cost of the provisions of FERS which relate to the Fund, computed by the Office in accordance with generally accepted actuarial practice and standards (using dynamic assumptions) and expressed as a level percentage of aggregate basic pay.

Service means all creditable service, including military service, rounded to the nearest number of years as of the beginning of the fiscal year.

Single agency rate means a normal cost percentage for one category of employees in one agency. A single agency rate is set under §841.412 as a result of a successful appeal.

Voluntary retirement rates means the rate, based on the sex, age, and service of the employee, of regular longevity retirements.

Withdrawal rates means the rate at which employees leave FERS-covered service without retiring, including employees who are paid refunds and employees who take deferred retirement. These rates are of two types: “not offset for reentry” and “offset for reentry.” These rates are by age and service.

§841.403   Categories of employees for computation of normal cost percentages.

Normal cost percentages will be determined for each of the following groups of employees:

(a) Members;

(b) Congressional employees;

(c) Law enforcement officers, members of the Supreme Court Police, firefighters, nuclear materials couriers, customs and border protection officers, and employees under section 302 of the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement Act of 1964 for Certain Employees.

(d) Air traffic controllers;

(e) Military reserve technicians;

(f) Employees under section 303 of the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1964 for Certain Employees when serving abroad;

(g) All other employees.

[52 FR 25196, July 6, 1987, as amended at 76 FR 42000, July 18, 2011]

§841.404   Demographic factors.

(a) The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will consider the factors listed below in determining normal cost percentages. To the extent data are available for the factor by specific category of employees, such data will be used. To the extent category specific data are not available, the most relevant available data will be used.

(1) Distributions of new entrants by age, sex, and service;

(2) Withdrawal rates;

(3) Merit salary increases;

(4) Voluntary retirement rates;

(5) Involuntary retirement rates;

(6) Disability retirement rates;

(7) Employee death rates;

(8) Military service rates;

(9) Family characteristics for employees;

(10) Death rates for non-disability annuitants;

(11) Death and recovery rates for disability annuitants;

(12) Child survivor termination and death rates;

(13) Family characteristics for annuitants; and

(14) Administrative expenses.

(b) Generally, each rate, ratio, or fraction must be separately considered to determine the rates for males and their survivors and the rates for females and their survivors, except those rates for child survivors and merit salary increases.

§841.405   Economic assumptions.

The determinations of the normal cost percentage will be based on the economic assumptions determined by the Board. When an agency's case is based in whole or in part on the pattern of merit salary increases specific to the agency or to a category of employees within the agency, the Board may require modification of the economic assumptions concerning salary and wage growth to take into account the combined effect of merit and general wage and salary increases.

§841.406   Determination of normal cost percentages.

(a) OPM will determine the Government-wide normal cost percentage for each category of employees. These normal cost percentages will be used by all agencies that have not been granted a single agency rate under §841.412.

(b) Each normal cost percentage will be rounded to the nearest one-tenth of a percent.

§841.407   Notice of normal cost percentage determinations.

(a) No later than 5 years after the publication of a current notice of normal cost percentages, OPM will publish in the Federal Register a notice that will contain updated normal cost percentages.

(b) The notice of normal cost percentage will include a statement of—

(1) The Government-wide normal cost percentage and any single agency rates for each category of employees;

(2) The effective date of any changes made by the notice;

(3) The address for obtaining information on the data and assumptions used in computing the normal cost percentages;

(4) The time limit for submission of appeals under §841.409; and

(5) The address for filing an appeal under §841.409.

§841.408   Effective date of normal cost percentages.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section and in §841.412, normal cost percentages stated in a notice of normal cost percentages under §841.407 will be effective at the beginning of the first full pay period of the first fiscal year that commences at least 3 months after the date of publication of the notice.

(b) The initial normal cost percentages will be effective at the beginning of the first pay period on or after January 1, 1987.

[51 FR 47187, Dec. 31, 1986, as amended at 58 FR 43493, Aug. 17, 1993]

§841.409   Agency appeal right.

(a)(1) An agency with at least 1,000 employees in the general category of employees or 500 employees in any of the special categories may appeal to the Board the normal cost percentage for that category as applied to that agency.

(2) The Secretary of the Treasury or the Postmaster General may request the Board to reconsider a determination of the amount of any supplemental liability due from the Treasury of the United States or the United States Postal Service, respectively.

(b) No appeal will be considered by the Board unless the agency files, no later than 6 months after the date of publication of the notice of normal cost percentages under §841.407, a petition for appeal that meets all the requirements of §841.410.

(c) No request for reconsideration will be considered by the Board unless the Secretary of the Treasury or the Postmaster General files, no later than 6 months after the date of receipt of the notice of supplemental liability, a request for reconsideration supported by an actuarial report similar to the report described in §841.410(c).

[52 FR 25196, July 6, 1987]

§841.410   Contents of petition for appeal.

(a) To file an appeal, an agency head must, before expiration of the time limit, file with OPM—

(1) A letter of appeal;

(2) An actuarial report; and

(3) A certificate of eligibility (described in paragraph (d) of this section).

(b)(1) The letter of appeal must be in writing and signed by the agency head. Delegation of signatory authority is not permitted.

(2) The letter of appeal may contain any argument the agency wishes to make or may simply submit the actuarial report for consideration.

(c) The actuarial report must contain a detailed actuarial analysis of the normal cost of FERS benefits as applied to the employees of that agency in the category of employees for which the agency is appealing the use of the Government-wide rate. The actuarial report must—

(1) Be signed by an actuary;

(2) Use the economic assumptions under §841.405; and

(3) Specifically address and consider each of the demographic factors listed in §841.404. The appealing agency is responsible for developing data relating to the first nine demographic factors as they relate to the category of agency employees for which the appeal is being filed. Government-wide demographic factors (available from OPM) will be presumed to be sufficient and reliable for factors 10 through 13 unless the appealing agency is able to demonstrate, through sufficient and reliable data relating to its employees or former employees, the use of alternative factors is appropriate. The fourteenth factor, administrative expenses, will be supplied by OPM.

(d) The certificate of eligibility is a letter from the agency's director of personnel certifying that the agency has the requisite 1,000 or 500 in the category of employees under consideration.

§841.411   Appeals procedure.

(a) A Government-wide normal cost percentage is presumed to apply to all agencies. Any agency appealing application of a Government-wide normal cost percentage to any category of employees in its workforce must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Board that the normal cost percentage for that category of employees in that agency is significantly different from the Government-wide normal cost percentage.

(b) While an agency has an appeal pending, the Government-wide normal cost percentage continues to apply to that agency.

(c) The Board cannot consider an appeal unless all the documents required for a petition for appeal under §841.410(a) are filed before expiration of the time limit for an appeal.

(d) The Board cannot sustain an appeal unless the Board finds that—

(1) The data used in the agency's actuarial analysis are sufficient and reliable (As a general rule, at least 5 years of data pertaining to any group of employees must be analyzed before the results are considered sufficient and reliable.);

(2) The assumptions used in the agency's actuarial analysis are justified;

(3) When all relevant factors are considered together, there is a demonstrated difference between the normal cost for the group at issue in the appeal and the normal cost for the same group calculated on a Government-wide basis; and

(4) The difference between the Government-wide normal cost percentage and the single agency rate would be at least 10 percent of the normal cost being appealed.

§841.412   Rates determined by appeal.

(a) If the Board finds that a different normal cost is warranted based on an agency appeal, it will establish a single agency rate for the category of employees in that agency.

(b) The single agency rate will be effective at the beginning of the first pay period beginning 30 days after the date of the Board's decision.

(c) A single agency rate may be higher or lower than the Government-wide rate and will remain in force for not less than 3 years.

(d) After a single agency rate has been in force for at least 3 years, OPM may—

(1) Require, no more often than annually, that the agency justify continuation of the rate; and/or

(2) When it publishes a notice of normal cost percentages under §841.407, terminate the single agency rate.

§841.413   Determinations of amount due from each agency.

(a) For each pay period, each agency will determine the total amount of basic pay paid to employees in each category of employees.

(b) For each category of employees, the amount due from each agency for a pay period is the product of—

(1) The total amount of basic pay of employees in that category of employees in that agency; and

(2) The normal cost percentage.

[51 FR 47187, Dec. 31, 1986, as amended at 52 FR 25196, July 6, 1987]

Subpart E—Employee Deductions and Government Contributions

Source: 52 FR 2057, Jan. 16, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

§841.501   Purpose.

This subpart contains regulations concerning deductions from employees' pay and government contributions for FERS coverage.

§841.502   Definitions.

In this subpart—

Employee means employee as defined in §842.102 of this chapter or Member as defined in section 8401(20) of title 5, United States Code.

Employee deduction means the portion of the normal cost of FERS coverage which is deducted from an employee's basic pay.

FERS means chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code.

Fund means the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.

Normal cost percentage or Normal cost means the entryage normal cost of the provisions of FERS which relate to the Fund, computed by the Office in accordance with generally accepted actuarial practice and standards (using dynamic assumptions) and expressed as a level percentage of aggregate basic pay. Normal cost percentage or normal cost include both agency and employee contributions.

Social security means old age, survivors and disability insurance under section 3101(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

§841.503   Amounts of employee deductions.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the rate of employee deductions from basic pay for FERS coverage is seven percent of basic pay minus the percent of tax which is (or would be) in effect for the payment, for the employee cost of social security.

(b) The rate of employee deductions from basic pay for FERS coverage for a Member, law enforcement officer, firefighter, nuclear materials courier, customs and border protection officer, air traffic controller, member of the Supreme Court Police, Congressional employee, or employee under section 302 of the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1964 for Certain Employees is seven and one-half percent of basic pay, minus the percent of tax which is (or would be) in effect for the payment, for the employee cost of social security.

(c) Employee deductions will be at the rate in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section as if social security deductions were being made even if social security deductions have ceased because of the amount of earnings during the year, or are not made for any other reason.

[52 FR 2057, Jan. 16, 1987, as amended at 52 FR 25197, July 6, 1987; 76 FR 42000, July 18, 2011]

§841.504   Agency responsibilities.

(a) Each employing agency is required to contribute the total amount of the normal cost percentage for each category of its employees, determined under §841.413 of this part, to the Fund.

(b) Each employing agency must withhold the appropriate amount of employee deductions from the basic pay paid each covered employee for each pay period. No employee deduction is due if an employee receives no basic pay for a pay period.

(c) An employing agency must record the appropriate amount of employee deductions on an individual retirement record maintained for each employee in the manner prescribed by OPM.

(d) When an employee separates from Federal service or transfers to another agency, or transfers to a position in which he or she is not covered by FERS, the agency must close the employee's Individual Retirement Record (IRR) and forward it to OPM within the time standards prescribed by OPM. However, if an employee transfers to another position covered under FERS—

(1) Within the same agency, and

(2) To a position serviced by another payroll office, the agency may, in lieu of forwarding an IRR to OPM at the time of the intra-agency transfer, record the transfer for future IRR certification in an internal automated system of records.

(e) An agency must maintain payroll systems and records in such manner as to permit accurate and timely reporting to OPM, in the manner prescribed by OPM.

(f) An agency must report the employee deduction and agency contribution amounts for each pay period in the manner prescribed by OPM.

(g) An agency must make such other reports of the normal cost, employee deductions and Government contributions amounts as are prescribed and in the manner prescribed by OPM.

(h) An agency must remit in full the total amount of normal cost (which includes both employee deductions and Government contributions), so that payment is received by the Fund on the day of payment to the employee of the basic pay from which the employee deductions were made.

(i) Upon the death of an employee whose tour of duty is less than full time, the employing agency must certify to OPM—

(1) The number of hours that the employee was entitled to basic pay (whether in a duty or paid-leave status) in the 52-week work year immediately preceding the end of the last pay period in which the employee was in a pay status; and

(2) If the employee's tour of duty was part time (regularly scheduled), the number of hours of work in the employee's tour of duty.

[52 FR 2057, Jan. 16, 1987, and 52 FR 25196, July 6, 1987, as amended at 53 FR 16535, May 10, 1988; 65 FR 21119, Apr. 20, 2000]

§841.505   Correction of error.

(a) When it is determined that an agency has paid less than the correct total amount of the normal cost for any or all of its current or past employees, for any reason whatsoever, including but not limited to, coverage decisions, correction of the percentage applicable or of the amount of basic pay, or additional payment of basic pay, the agency must pay the total additional amount payable under 5 U.S.C. 8423 and subpart D of the this part to the Fund.

(b) The agency withholds the appropriate employee deduction from any payment of additional basic pay which is part of, or the result of, the corrective action.

(c) The payment to the Fund described in paragraph (a) of this section shall be made as soon as possible, but not later than provided by standards established by OPM, regardless of whether or when the portion which should have been deducted from employee basic pay is recovered by the agency.

(d) Any portion of the payment to the Fund described in paragraph (a) of this section which should have been deducted, but was not, from employee basic pay constitutes an overpayment of pay, subject to collection by the agency from the employee, unless waived under applicable authority such as 5 U.S.C. 5584.

(e) Corrections and the related agency payments and employee deductions will be reported to OPM in the manner prescribed by OPM.

§841.506   Effect of part 772 of this chapter on FERS payments.

(a) Agency notification to OPM. (1) When it is determined that a FERS employee is to be given interim relief under 5 U.S.C. 7701(b)(2)(A), the employing agency must notify OPM of the effective date of the interim appointment under §772.102 of this chapter. The notice must specify that the appointment is required by the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989.

(2) When the MSPB initial decision cancelling the employee's separation becomes final, when the Board issues a final order cancelling the retiree's separation, or when the agency agrees to cancel the separation, the employing agency must notify OPM of the date the interim appointment ends and request the amount of the erroneous payment to be recovered under §550.805(e) of this chapter from any back pay adjustment to which the employee may be entitled.

(b) Employee deductions and normal cost percentage. For the duration of the appointment, the agency will withhold the appropriate employee deduction and contribute the total amount of the normal cost percentage for the employee as prescribed by OPM. If and when a separation action is cancelled, the agency must make the corrections specified under §841.507 of this subpart.

[57 FR 3714, Jan. 31, 1992, as amended at 58 FR 48273, Sept. 15, 1993]

§841.507   Correction of unjustified or unwarranted personnel action.

(a) When an “appropriate authority” determines that there has been an “unjustified or unwarranted personnel action” as these terms are defined in subpart H of part 550 of this title, the employing agency will pay the Fund the amount of the normal cost percentage of the basic pay included in back pay. The normal cost percentage owed the Fund is computed on the amount of gross basic pay without regard to deductions described in §550.805(e) of this chapter for other amounts earned or erroneous payments received.

(b) The agency will withhold the appropriate employee deductions from the amount of basic pay included in gross back pay giving due regard to deductions described in §550.805(e) of this chapter.

(c) The payment to the Fund described in paragraph (a) of this section shall be made within the time period established by OPM standards.

(d)(1) Any FERS benefits—lump-sum payments or annuity benefits—paid based on a separation that is later cancelled are considered erroneous payments that must be repaid to OPM. Agencies must deduct such payments from any back pay adjustment to which the employee may be entitled as required by 5 CFR 550.805(e).

(2) Amounts recovered from back pay will not be subject to waiver consideration under 5 U.S.C. 8470(b). If there is no back pay, or the back pay is insufficient to recover the entire erroneous payment, the employee may request that OPM waive recovery of the uncollected portion of the overpayment. If waiver is not granted, the employee must repay the erroneous payment.

[52 FR 2057, Jan. 16, 1987. Redesignated and amended at 57 FR 3714, Jan. 31, 1992; 58 FR 43493, Aug. 17, 1993]

§841.508   Effective date.

The employee deductions specified in §841.503 are effective on the later of the first day of the first pay period beginning in 1987 or the first day an employee is covered by FERS.

[52 FR 2057, Jan. 16, 1987. Redesignated at 57 FR 3714, Jan. 31, 1992]

Subpart F—Computation of Interest

Source: 52 FR 12132, Apr. 15, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

§841.601   Purpose.

This subpart regulates the computation of interest under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).

§841.602   Definitions.

Contributions or deductions means the amounts deducted from an employee's pay or deposited as the employee's share of the cost of FERS.

Individual Retirement Record means the record of individual retirement deductions required by §841.504.

Last year of service means the calendar year in which deductions stop on the Individual Retirement Record under consideration.

Unexpended balance means the unrefunded amount consisting of—

(a) Retirement deductions made from the basic pay of an employee under subpart E of part 841 of this chapter;

(b) Amounts deposited by an employee for periods of service (including military service) for which—

(1) No retirement deductions were made; or

(2) Deductions were refunded to the employee; and

(c) Interest compounded annually on the deductions and deposits at a rate which, for any calendar year, will be equal to the overall average yield to the Civil Service Retirement Fund during the preceding fiscal year from all obligations purchased by the Secretary of the Treasury during that fiscal year under section 8348(c), (d), and (e) of title 5, United States Code, as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury. Interest on deductions and deposits does not include interest—

(1) If the service covered by the deductions totals 1 year or less; or

(2) For a fractional part of a month in the total service.

Year of the computation means the calendar year when the unexpended balance is being computed.

§841.603   Rate of interest.

For calendar year 1985 and for each subsequent calendar year, OPM will publish a notice in the Federal Register to notify the public of the interest rate that will be in effect during that calendar year.

§841.604   Interest on service credit deposits.

(a) Interest on civilian service credit deposits is computed under §842.305 of this chapter.

(b) Interest on military service credit deposits is computed under §842.307 of this chapter.

(c) In the case of a retirement coverage error that was corrected under part 839 (pertaining to errors that lasted for at least 3 years of service after December 31, 1986) in which:

(1) A CSRS service credit deposit was made; and

(2) There is a subsequent retroactive change to FERS, the excess of the amount of the CSRS civilian or military service credit deposit over the FERS civilian or military deposit, together with interest computed under §842.305 of this chapter, shall be paid to the employee or annuitant. In the case of a deceased employee or annuitant, payment is made to the individual entitled to lump-sum benefits under subpart B of part 843 of this chapter.

[52 FR 12132, Apr. 15, 1987, as amended at 57 FR 32155, July 21, 1992; 66 FR 15618, Mar. 19, 2001]

§841.605   Interest included in the unexpended balance.

(a) Interest on each Individual Retirement Record is computed separately.

(b) For determining the amount of interest in the unexpended balance when none of the employee deductions have been returned (e.g., employee refunds or at the time of retirement), the amount of interest in the unexpended balance equals the sum of the amounts of interest applicable to each calendar year's deductions. The amount of interest on each calendar year's deductions equals the sum of—

(1) For the calendar year in which the deductions were taken—

(i) Except during the last year of service, the amount of the employee's deductions for that calendar year times the rate of interest set under §841.603 for that calendar year times the fraction whose numerator is the number of full months when deductions were withheld and whose denominator is 24;

(ii) During the last year of service, the amount of the employee's deductions for that year times the rate of interest set under §841.603 for that year times the fraction—

(A) Whose numerator equals the sum of—

(1) One half times the number of months (fractional months rounded up) of that year during which the employee was employed;

(2) One for each full month of that year after the employee's service terminated; and

(B) Whose denominator is 12.

(2) For each calendar year after the year when the deductions were withheld but before the calendar year of the computation, the amount of the employee's deductions plus interest for prior years, times the rate of interest set under §841.603 for that year; and

(3) For the year of the computation—

(i) If it is not the same calendar year that the deductions were withheld, the amount of the employee's deductions plus interest for prior years, times the rate of interest set under §841.603 for that year times the fraction whose numerator is the number of full months that have been completed in the year of the computation and whose denominator is 12; or

(ii) If it is the same calendar year that the deductions were withheld, the amount of the employee's deductions for that year times the rate of interest set under §841.603 for that year times the fraction—

(A) Whose numerator equals the sum of—

(1) One half times the number of months (fractional months rounded up) of that year during which the employee was employed;

(2) One for each full month of that year after the employee's service terminated; and

(B) Whose denominator is 12.

(c)(1) For adding interest to the unexpended balance after retirement, the unexpended balance including interest computed under paragraph (b) of this section is computed as of the time of retirement.

(2) Each month after retirement, the unexpended balance is reduced by the amount of annuity paid and interest is added to the remaining portion at the rate computed as follows:

(i) Add one to the interest rate under §841.603 for the current year.

(ii) Raise the sum produced under paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section to the 112 power.

(iii) Subtract one from the result of paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section to produce the interest rate for the month.

(d)(1) Interest on payments of the unexpended balance will be paid for the month unless the payment has been authorized before the 5th workday before the end of the month (excluding the 31st day of 31-day months).

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (d)(1) of this section, payment is authorized when the person with authority to approve the claim approves payment.

§841.606   Interest on survivor reduction deposits.

Interest on deposits under subpart F of part 842 of this chapter is compounded annually and accrued monthly.

(a) The initial interest on each monthly difference between the reduced annuity rate and the annuity rate actually paid equals the amount of the monthly difference times the difference between—

(1) One and six tenths raised to the power whose numerator is the number of months between the date when the monthly difference in annuity rates occurred and the date when the initial interest is computed and whose denominator is 12; and

(2) One.

(b) The total initial interest due is the sum of all of the initial interest on each monthly difference computed in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Additional interest on any uncollected balance will be compounded annually and accrued monthly. The additional interest due each month equals the remaining balance due times the difference between—

(1) One and six tenths raised to the 112 power; and

(2) One.

§841.607   Interest on overpayment debts.

Interest on overpayment debts is computed under §845.205(b).

Subpart G—Cost-of-Living Adjustments

Source: 55 FR 14229, Apr. 17, 1990, unless otherwise noted.

§841.701   Purpose and scope.

(a) The purpose of this subpart is to regulate computation of cost-of-living adjustments (COLA's) for basic benefits under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).

(b) This subpart provides the methodology for—

(1) Computing COLA's on each type of FERS basic benefit subject to COLA's; and

(2) Computing COLA's on annuities partially computed under FERS and partially computed under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).

(c) COLA's on children's annuities are not covered by this subpart because COLA's on children's annuities are computed under CSRS rules.

§841.702   Definitions.

In this subpart—

Annuity supplement means the benefit under subpart E of part 842 of this chapter. An annuity supplement is only payable to retirees.

Basic annuity means the benefits computed under subpart D of part 842 of this chapter and payable to retirees.

Basic employee death benefit means the basic employee death benefit as defined in §843.102 of this chapter.

Beneficiary of insurable interest annuity means a person receiving a recurring benefit under FERS that is payable (after the employee's, Members, or retiree's death) to a person designated to receive such an annuity under §842.605 of this chapter.

COLA means a cost-of-living adjustment.

Combined CSRS/FERS annuity means the recurring benefit with a CSRS component and a FERS component. A “combined CSRS/FERS annuity” is only payable to a retiree who as an employee elected to transfer to FERS under part 846 of this chapter, who at the time of transfer had at least 5 years of service creditable under CSRS (excluding service that was subject to both social security and partial CSRS deductions), and who was covered by FERS for at least 1 month.

CSRS means the Civil Service Retirement System as described in subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code.

CSRS component means the portion of a combined CSRS/FERS annuity that is computed under CSRS rules.

Current spouse annuity means a current spouse annuity as defined in §842.602 of this chapter.

Disability retiree means a retiree who retired under part 844 of this chapter.

Effective date means the date annuities increased by a COLA begin to accrue at the higher rate.

FERS means the Federal Employees Retirement System as defined in chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code.

FERS component means the portion of a combined CSRS/FERS annuity computed under FERS rules.

Former spouse annuity means a former spouse annuity as defined in §842.602 of this chapter.

Initial monthly rate means the monthly annuity rate that a retiree (other than a disability retiree) is entitled to receive at the time of retirement (as defined in §842.602 of this chapter).

Percentage change means the percent change in the price index as defined in section 8462(a)(2) of title 5, United States Code.

Retiree means a retiree as defined in §842.602 of this chapter.

Survivor means a person receiving a current spouse annuity or a former spouse annuity, or the beneficiary of an insurable interest annuity. As used in this subpart, “survivor” does not include a child annuitant.

Survivor supplement means the recurring benefit payable to a survivor under §843.308 of this chapter.

§841.703   Increases on basic annuities and survivor annuities.

(a) Except as provided in §§841.704, 841.706, and 841.707, and paragraph (e) of this section, COLA's on basic annuities and survivor annuities are the greater of—

(1) One dollar per month; or

(2)(i) If the percentage change is less than 2 percent, the percentage change;

(ii) If the percentage change is at least 2 percent and not greater than 3 percent, 2 percent; and

(iii) If the percentage change exceeds 3 percent, 1 percentage point less than the percentage change.

(b) After survivor annuities commence, they are subject to COLA's computed under paragraph (a) of this section, even if they are based on a basic employee annuity that includes a CSRS component.

(c) COLA's apply to basic annuities (not to annuity supplements), survivor annuities, and survivor supplements.

(d) COLA's do not apply for annuitants who are under age 62 as of the effective date, except—

(1) Survivors;

(2) Disability retirees (other than disability retirees whose benefits is based on 60% of high-3 average salary);

(3) Retirees who retired under §842.208 of this chapter (the special provisions for law enforcement officers and firefighters);

(4) Retirees who retired under §842.207 of this chapter (the special provision for air traffic controllers);

(5) Retirees who retired under §842.210 of this chapter (the special provision for military reserve technicians who ceased satisfying the requirements of their position) due to a disability.

(e)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, COLA's are not payable to disability retirees during the first year.

(2) COLA's are payable to disability retirees during the first year if the annuity rate payable is the retiree's earned benefit or the annuity is redetermined because the retiree has reached age 62.

(3) After the first year, both the disability benefit and the social security offset (it any) are increased by COLA's. Disability retirees' earned benefits also increase with COLA's, even when earned benefits are not paid. After application of the COLA, the greater of the increased 40 percent benefit offset by social security or the increased earned benefit is paid until the annuity is redetermined at age 62. After age 62, the redetermined annuity is paid.

(f) COLA's are payable to retirees and survivors whose annuities commence before the effective date.

§841.704   Proration of COLA's.

(a) The full amounts of COLA's are payable on annuities having a commencing date more than 11 months before the effective date.

(b)(1) Prorated portions of COLA's are payable of annuities having a commencing date within 11 months before the effective date.

(2) Proration is based on the number of months (with any portion of a month counting as a month) between the annuity commencing date and the effective date.

(3) For survivors of deceased retirees, proration is determined by the date the annuity was first payable to the deceased retiree.

(4) Proration applied to the assume social security disability insurance benefit is based on the commencing date of the disability annuity, not the beginning of the social security disability benefit.

§841.705   Increases on basic employee death benefits.

(a) COLA's on the basic employee death benefit increase the $15,000 component by the percentage change.

(b) Recipients of the basic employee death benefit are entitled to COLA's if the employee or Member died on or after the effective date.

§841.706   Increases on combined CSRS/FERS annuities.

(a) COLA's on combined CSRS/FERS annuities are computed by increasing the CSRS component by the percentage change and the FERS component by the amount of COLA's under §841.703(a).

(b) The initial monthly rate is computed by—

(1) Applying CSRS rules to CSRS service to obtain the annual rate of the self-only annuity (as defined in §831.603 of this chapter) based on the CSRS service; then

(2) Applying FERS rules to FERS service to obtain the annual rate of annuity determined under §842.403, §842.405, §842.406, or §842.407 of this chapter based on the FERS service; then

(3) Making any applicable FERS reductions for age and/or survivor benefits to the amounts computed under paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section; then

(4) Dividing the sum of the reduced amounts computed under paragraph (b)(3) of this section by 12; then

(5) Dropping any cents.

(c) The initial monthly CSRS component is computed by—

(1) Applying CSRS rules to CSRS service to obtain the annual rate of the self-only annuity (as defined in §831.603 of this chapter) based on the CSRS service; then

(2) Making any applicable FERS reductions for age and/or survivor benefits; then

(3) Dividing the annual amount by 12; then

(4) Dropping any cents.

(d) The initial monthly FERS component is computed by subtracting the initial monthly CSRS component from the initial monthly rate.

(e) A retiree who was covered under FERS for at least one month has a FERS component. If the amount of the FERS component as computed under paragraph (d) of this section is zero (because the CSRS component is equal to the monthly rate, leaving no balance for the FERS component), the FERS component is $1 per month. The retiree is due a full dollar increase on the FERS component with the next COLA. An employee with less than a month of FERS service has no FERS component and is not due any FERS COLA's.

(f) COLA's are determined by applying the appropriate increase to each component and rounding to the next lower dollar (each component must increase by at least one dollar if a COLA applies to each component) before adding them together for the new monthly amount payable.

§841.707   COLA's affecting computation of survivor supplements.

For purposes of computing the assumed CSRS annuity under §843.308 of this chapter, the assumed CSRS annuity includes COLA's computed under CSRS rules.

§841.708   Special provisions affecting retired military reserve technicians.

(a) Military reserve technicians who retire as a result of a medical disability are excepted from the bar against COLA increases for retirees under age 62.

(b) Military reserve technicians have retired as a result of a medical disability if they retire under—

(1) Section 8451(a)(1)(B) of title 5, United States Code (allowing retirement by military reserve technicians who are medically disabled for their positions); or

(2) Section 8456 of title 5, United States Code (allowing retirement by military reserve technicians who are not disabled for their positions and who are not eligible under the special military technician discontinued service provisions (section 8414(c)) but who are medically disqualified for military service or the rank required to hold their positions).

(c)(1) Military reserve technicians have not retired as a result of a medical disability if they retire under section 8414(c) of title 5, United States Code (allowing retirement by military reserve technicians who may not be disabled for their positions, but are medically or nonmedically disqualified for military service or the rank required to hold the position, and who are at least age 50 with 25 years of service), unless they provide OPM official documentation showing that their disqualification was for medical reasons.

(2) When OPM receives no information about the reason for the disqualification of a military reserve technician retiring under section 8414(c) of title 5, United States Code, OPM will process the case assuming that the disqualification was for nonmedical reasons. OPM will inform these retirees that they will not receive COLA's until they reach age 62 unless they provide an official certification from the military showing that their disqualification was for medical reasons.

Subpart H—Waiver of Benefits

Source: 52 FR 2058, Jan. 16, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

§841.801   Purpose.

This subpart regulates the statutory provision on waiver of annuity benefits under the Federal Employees' Retirement System.

§841.802   Definitions.

As used in this subpart—

Annuitant means a person receiving or who is entitled and has made application to receive retirement or survivor benefits under subchapter II, IV, or V of chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code.

Annuity means the gross monthly annuity rate payable before any authorized deductions (such as those for health benefits and life insurance premiums).

Qualifying court order means a court order acceptable for processing as defined in §838.103 of this chapter or a qualifying court order as defined in §838.1003 of this chapter.

Waiver means an annuitant's written request to forfeit a specified amount of annuity as described in this subpart.

[52 FR 2058, Jan. 16, 1987, as amended at 57 FR 33598, July 29, 1992]

§841.803   Waiver of annuity.

(a) An annuitant may decline to accept all or any part of the amount of his or her annuity by a waiver signed and filed with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

(b) A waiver is effective the first day of the month following the month in which it is received in OPM, unless a later effective date is specified by the annuitant.

(c) A waiver remains in effect until revoked or changed by the annuitant in writing, except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section. The effective date of a revocation or change will be the first day of the month following the month in which the request to revoke or change is received in OPM, unless a later date is specified by the annuitant.

(d) The amount of annuity that is waived is forfeited during the period the waiver is in effect and cannot be recovered.

(e) An annuity which has a waiver in effect will not be increased by cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) authorized under 5 U.S.C. 8462. Upon cancellation of a waiver, the rate of annuity will be increased by any COLA authorized during the period a waiver was in effect.

(f) Upon the death of an annuitant with a waiver in effect, any survivor annuity payable will be authorized at the full rate of annuity as though the waiver had not been in effect, unless the survivor annuitant executes a waiver.

§841.804   Waivers and court orders.

The effect of a qualifying court order on a waiver is controlled by §838.111(c) of this chapter.

[52 FR 2058, Jan. 16, 1987, as amended at 57 FR 33598, July 29, 1992]

Subpart I [Reserved]

Subpart J—State Income Tax Withholding

Source: 52 FR 5432, Feb. 23, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

§841.1001   Purpose.

This subpart regulates state income tax withholding from payments of basic benefits under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).

§841.1002   Definitions.

For the purpose of this subchapter:

Agreement means the Federal-State agreement contained in this subpart.

Annuitant means an employee or Member retired, or a spouse, widow, or widower receiving survivor benefits, under chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code.

Effective date means, with respect to a request or revocation, that the request or revocation will be reflected in payments authorized after that date, and before the next request or revocation is implemented.

Fund means the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund as established and described in section 8348 of title 5, United States Code.

Income tax and State income tax mean any form of tax for which, under a State statute, (a) collection is provided, either in imposing on employers generally the duty of withholding sums from the compensation of employees and making returns of such sums to the State or by granting to employers generally the authority to withhold sums from the compensation of employees, if any employee voluntarily elects to have such sums withheld; and (b) the duty to withhold generally is imposed, or the authority to withhold generally is granted, with respect to the compensation of employees who are residents of the State.

Net recurring payment means the amount of annuity or survivors benefits (not recurring interim payments made while a claim is pending adjudication) payable to the annuitant on a monthly basis less the amounts currently being deducted for health benefits, Medicare, life insurance, Federal income tax, overpayment of annuity, indebtedness to the Government, voluntary allotments, waivers, or being paid to a third party or a court officer in compliance with a court order or decree.

Net withholding means the amount of State income tax deductions withheld during the previous calendar quarter as a result of requests which designated the State as payee, less similar deductions taken from prior payments which are cancelled in the previous calendar quarter.

Proper State Official means a State officer authorized to bind the State contractually in matters relating to tax administration.

Received means, in respect to the magnetic tape containing requests and revocations, received at the special mailing address established by OPM for income tax requests, or, for those items not so received, received at the OPM data processing center charged with processing requests.

Requests means, in regard to a request for tax withholdings, a change in the amount withheld, or revocation of a prior request, a written submission from an annuitant in a format acceptable to the State which provides the annuitant's name, FERS claim number, Social Security identification number, address, the amount to be withheld and the State to which payment is to be made, which is signed by the annuitant or, in the case of incompetence, his or her representative payee.

State means a State, the District of Columbia, or any territory or possession of the United States.

§841.1003   Federal-State agreements.

OPM will enter into an agreement with any State within 120 days of an application for agreement from the proper State official. The terms of the standard agreement will be §§841.1004 through 841.1007 of this subpart. OPM and the State may agree to additional terms and provisions, insofar as those additional terms and provisions do not contradict or otherwise limit the terms of the standard agreement.

§841.1004   OPM responsibilities.

OPM will, in performance of this agreement:

(a) Process the magnetic tape containing State tax transactions against the annuity roll once a month at the time monthly recurring payments are prepared for the United States Treasury Department. Errors that are identified will not be processed into the file, and will be identified and returned to the State for resolution via the monthly error report. Collections of State income tax will continue in effect until the State requesting the initial action supplies either a valid revocation or change. The magnetic tape must be received 35 days prior to the date of the check in which the transactions are to be effective. For example, withholding transactions for the July 1 check must be received 5 days prior to June 1. If the magnetic tape submitted by the State cannot be read, OPM will notify the State of this fact, and if a satisfactory replacement can be supplied in time for monthly processing, it will be processed.

(b) Deduct from the regular, recurring annuity payments of an annuitant the amount he or she has so requested to be withheld, provided that:

(1) The amount of the request is an even dollar amount, not less than Five Dollars nor more than the net recurring amount. The State may set any even dollar amount above Five Dollars as a minimum withholding amount.

(2) The annuitant has not designated more than one other State for withholding purposes within the calendar year. The State can set any limit on the number of changes an annuitant may make in the amount to be withheld.

(c) Retain the amounts withheld in the Fund until payment is due.

(d) Pay the net withholding to the State on the last day of the first month following each calendar quarter.

(e) Make the following reports:

(1) A monthly report which will include all the State tax withholdings, cancellations and adjustments for the month, and also each request OPM was not able to process, with an explanation, in coded format, of the reason for rejection.

(2) A quarterly report which will include State, State address, quarterly withholdings, quarterly cancellations and adjustments, quarterly net withholdings and year-to-date amounts. Where cancelled or adjusted payments were made in a previous year, OPM shall append a listing of the cancelled or adjusted payments which shows the date and amount of each cancelled or adjusted tax withholding, and the name and Social Security identification number of the annuitant from whom it was withheld. If either party terminates the agreement and the amount of cancelled or adjusted deductions exceeds the amount withheld for the final quarter, then the quarterly report shall show the amount to be refunded to OPM and the address to which payment should be made.

(3) An annual summary report which contains the name, Social Security identification number, and total amount withheld from non-cancelled payments during the previous calendar year, for each annuitant who requested tax withholding payable to the State. In the event the annuitant had State income tax withholding in effect for more than one State in that calendar year, the report will show only the amount withheld for the State receiving the report.

(4) An annual report to each annuitant for whom State income taxes were withheld giving the amount of withholding paid to the State during the calendar year.

§841.1005   State responsibilities.

The State will, in performance of this agreement:

(a) Accept requests and revocations from annuitants who have designated that State income tax deductions will go to the State.

(b) Convert these requests on a monthly basis to a machine-readable magnetic tape using specifications received from OPM, and forward that tape to OPM for processing.

(c) Inform annuitants whose tax requests are rejected by OPM that the request was so rejected and of the reason why it was so rejected.

(d) Recognize that, to the extent not prohibited by State laws, records maintained by the State relating to this program are considered jointly maintained by OPM and are subject to the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a). Accordingly, the States will maintain such records in accordance with that statute and OPM's implementing regulations at 5 CFR part 297.

(e) Respond to requests of annuitants for information and advice in regard to State income tax withholding.

(f) Credit the amounts withheld from FERS annuities to the State tax liability of the respective annuitants, and, subject to applicable provisions of State law to the contrary, refund any balance over and above that liability to the annuitant, unless he or she should request otherwise.

(g) Surrender all tax withholding requests to OPM when this agreement is terminated or when the documents are not otherwise needed for this State tax withholding program.

(h) Allow OPM, the Comptroller General or any of their duly authorized representatives access to, and the right to examine, all records, books, papers or documents related to the processing of requests for State income tax withholding from FERS annuities.

§841.1006   Additional provisions.

These additional provisions are also binding on the State and OPM:

(a) A request or revocation is effective when processed by OPM. OPM will process each request by the first day of the second month following the month in which it is received, but incurs no liability or indebtedness by its failure to do so.

(b) Any amount deducted from an annuity payment and paid to the State as a result of a request is deemed properly paid, unless the annuity payment itself is cancelled.

(c) OPM will provide the State with the information necessary to properly process a request for State income tax withholding.

(d) If the State is paid withholding which is contrary to the terms of the annuitant's request, the State is liable to the annuitant for the amount improperly withheld, and subject to account verification from OPM, agrees to pay that amount to the annuitant on demand.

(e) In the case of a dispute amount in any of the reports described and authorized by this agreement, the Associate Director will issue an accounting. If the State finds this accounting unacceptable, it may then and only then pursue such remedies as are otherwise available.

(f) If a State received an overpayment of monies properly belonging to the Fund, OPM will offset the overpayment from a future payment due the State. If there are no further payments due the State, OPM will inform the State in writing of the amount due. Within 60 days of the date of receipt of that communication that State will make payment of the amount due.

§841.1007   Agreement modification and termination.

This agreement may be modified or terminated in the following manner:

(a) Either party may suggest a modification of non-regulatory provisions of the agreement in writing to the other party. The other party must accept or reject the modification within 60 calendar days of the date of the suggestion.

(b) The agreement may be terminated by either party on 60 calendar days written notice.

(c) OPM may modify this agreement unilaterally through the rule making process described in sections 553, 1103, and 1105 of title 5, United States Code.



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