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Your letter to Senator Edward M. Kennedy has been forwarded to
the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for response. As explained
in your letter to Senator Kennedy, you have filed an administrative
appeal that is currently pending before an administrative judge of
the Merit Systems Protection Board.
In order to respond to your letter, I have obtained figures from
both the Office of Regional Counsel of the [agency] in [city] and
OPM's Retirement and Insurance Service concerning the deductions
that would need to be taken from your back pay award. These figures
are as follows:
BACK PAY WORKSHEET
NET BACKPAY $.00
Based on these figures, if you were to receive a back pay award
from the [agency], it would result in your having substantial
indebtednesses, including a debt to OPM as the administrator of the
Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund for that portion of
the "Erroneous Retirement Annuity" benefits that would not be
offset by the "Adjusted Gross Back Pay" amount, $19,323.56
[$45,551.00 less $26,227.44].
While you would be entitled to request that OPM waive repayment
of this portion of the "Erroneous Retirement Annuity" benefits, a
waiver would only be granted if you were able to establish that
recovery would cause financial hardship or if you could establish
that there had been detrimental reliance. See 5 U.S.C. 8346(b); 5
C.F.R. 831.1401; Day v. OPM, 873 F.2d 291
(Fed. Cir. 1989); Metcalf v. OPM, 73 M.S.P.R. 211
(1997); and Harris v. Department of Agriculture,
50 M.S.P.R. 686 (1991).
It cannot be emphasized too strongly that whenever an individual
is entitled to back pay, the law requires that certain legitimate
deductions be taken. OPM has no choice in this matter. I hope that
this information will be of some assistance to you.
Murray M. Meeker