FLEOA files law suit against OPM

 FLEOA files suit against OPM for reinterpretation of FERS statute 


March 21, 2019
Natalia  Castro
(202) 463-8400



Washington, D.C. – Nathan Catura, President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), issued the following statement in regards to a law suit filed in the federal District Court for the District of Columbia against the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The case is captioned FLEOA v. OPM, Case No. 19-735. It has been assigned to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

"In mid-2016, OPM made the sudden and unilateral decision to reinterpret a 30-year old provision of the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). This reinterpretation allowed the Office to retroactively charge retirees for payments they were not required to make when the law was interpreted differently,” Catura explained, "FLEOA’s primary goal in filing suit is to force a stop to OPM's collection efforts, and to allow our retired members to keep all of the benefits they are entitled to receive.”

"This legal recourse against the agency was not FLEOA’s first course of action in working to resolve this issue. For more than two years we have attempted to work with the agency. Yet when their own Office of Inspector General (OIG) said the Office was acting improperly, OPM refused to alter their interpretation. Even when an Administrative Judge at the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) ruled against OPM’s efforts to claw back nearly $30,000 from a retiree, OPM still refused to amend their interpretation. This type of callous disregard for the financial well-being of retirees should make everyone concerned with just who and what they'll target next,” Catura noted.

Catura explained, "OPM has worked in the shadows of the executive, making it impossible to say with any degree of certainty just how many federal retirees have been harmed by OPM’s abrupt and unwarranted decision. Both the OPM-OIG and the MSPB critiqued this lack of transparency in their respective reviews of the agency’s action. Anecdotally, however, we've heard everything from 600 to 4,000 retired law enforcement officers and other federal employees have been attacked.”

"This is not the first time that OPM has targeted retired federal law enforcement officers to claw back a portion of their retirement benefits. Just last year, FLEOA successfully beat back their attempt to strip a portion of retirement pay from criminal investigators at TSA through an act of Congress,” Catura furthered, "Now, as each month goes by, OPM continues to take from dedicated federal law enforcement officers and public servants who have committed their life to serving this country. Ultimately, if OPM is unwilling or unable to protect the financial security of our retired members then we must act. We hope that the Court will finally put an end to OPM's assault on law enforcement and end this policy's disastrous consequences.”

Click here to read 2018 Press Release "Calls to Repeal 2016 Annuity Supplement Policy"

Click here to read 2018 Fact Sheet

Read Press Release in its entirety

Read Lawsuit in its entirety