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FLEOA VS OPM Final Complaint

 

 

 

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

 

 

 

FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT

OFFICERS ASSOCIATION,

1100 Connecticut Avenue NW

Suite 900

Washington, DC 20036,

 

                                                 Plaintiff,                                                                                  Case No. 19-735 

v.

 

MARGARET WEICHERT in her official capacity

as acting Director of the United States Office of

Personnel Management,

1900 E Street, NW

Washington, DC 20415,

 

and

 

UNITED STATES OFFICE OF

PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT,

1900 E Street, NW

Washington, DC 20415,

 

 

                                                Defendants.

 

 

COMPLAINT

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Plaintiff Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association ("FLEOA”) represents the interests of over 27,000 current and retired

 

federal law enforcement officers across 65 agencies. It challenges a U.S. Office of Personnel Management ("OPM”) policy

 

resulting in the reduction for divorced retirees, of a retirement benefit designed to supplement federal law enforcement officers’

 

and other early-retiring employees’ incomes prior to reaching Social Security age.

 

 

In mid-2016, OPM began for the first time to include this Annuity Supplement together with retirees’ basic annuity benefits when

 

calculating how much of a retiree’s monthly payment to apportion to his or her former spouse pursuant to a divorce decree—

 

even where that decree does not expressly address the Annuity Supplement. OPM also applied this change retroactively by

 

calculating the resulting "underpayments” to former spouses dating from the divorce decree or retirement date and then

 

charging  this amount to the retiree, in one instance more than $28,000. Thus, even if this change were required by statute—it is

 

not—OPM would be in essence penalizing retirees, in many instances heavily, for its own mistake.

 

 

OPM, moreover, is mistaken about the law. Apportioning the Annuity Supplement absent a court order expressly directing that it

 

be divided is contrary to law because the relevant statutes require OPM to implement division orders pursuant to divorce in a

 

purely ministerial fashion. OPM’s Inspector General reached exactly that conclusion when it recommended that the agency

 

cease implementing the new policy and compensate adversely affected retirees—a recommendation that OPM disregarded. Not

 

only that, but the sudden and retroactive implementation of this policy without notice or rule making unfairly blindsided affected

 

retirees—including many FLEOA members who dedicated their careers to protecting their fellow Americans—who could not

 

have possibly anticipated OPM’s subsequent apportionment of their Annuity Supplement when planning for retirement or

 

dividing marital property during their divorces. For these reasons, FLEOA asks the Court to reject OPM’s interpretation of the

 

relevant statutes and to enjoin OPM from continuing to divide the Annuity Supplement absent a divorce order expressly

 

providing for such division.

 

 

 Read Complaint in its Entirety