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OPM launched surprise hit on federal retirees

OPM launched surprise hit on certain federal retirees, then tried to stop watchdog’s report

Credit: Joe Davidson, The Washington Post, February 9, 2018

Without advance notice or a court order, the Office of Personnel Management changed its 30-year policy and increased the money paid to divorced spouses from the annuity payments of certain federal employees.

Then, when OPM’s Office of Inspector General criticized the practice, OPM officials tried to quash the inspector general’s management advisory, issued this week. OPM officials also rejected all the IG’s recommendations. The IG took the case following a complaint from the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA).

For nearly three decades, OPM applied court orders granting a "marital share” of the former employees’ retirement to only their basic annuity, which is the gross monthly amount. But in July 2016, OPM decided to also apply the share to the annuity supplement, according to the report. The supplement is paid to federal law enforcement officers and some other feds who retire before they can collect Social Security benefits. The officers are required to retire by age 57, which is before Social Security eligibility.

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