Text: H.R.2727 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Enrolled Bill

 
 
--H.R.2727--
H.R.2727
One Hundred First Congress of the United States of America
AT THE FIRST SESSION
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the third day of January,
one thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine
An Act
To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish a retirement and survivor
benefit program for judges of the new United States Court of Veterans Appeals,
and for other purposes.
 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
 States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
 This Act may be cited as the `Court of Veterans Appeals Judges Retirement
 Act'.
TITLE I--JUDGES RETIREMENT AND SURVIVOR ANNUITY PROGRAM
SEC. 101. JUDGES RETIREMENT PROGRAM.
 (a) RETIREMENT SYSTEM- Chapter 72 of title 38, United States Code, is
 amended by adding at the end the following new subchapter:
`SUBCHAPTER V--RETIREMENT AND SURVIVORS ANNUITIES
`Sec. 4096. Retirement of judges
 `(a) For purposes of this section:
 `(1) The term `Court' means the United States Court of Veterans Appeals.
 `(2) The term `judge' means the chief judge or an associate judge of
 the Court.
 `(b)(1) A judge who meets the age and service requirements set forth in
 the following table may retire:
--And the years
--of service
`The judge has
--as a judge
attained age:
--are at least
65
--15
66
--14
67
--13
68
--12
69
--11
70
--10
 `(2) A judge who is not reappointed following the expiration of the term
 for which appointed may retire upon the completion of that term if the judge
 has served as a judge of the Court for 15 years or more. In order to retire
 under this paragraph, a judge must, not earlier than 9 months preceding the
 date of the expiration of the judge's term of office and not later than 6
 months preceding such date, advise the President in writing that the judge
 is willing to accept reappointment to the Court.
 `(3) A judge who becomes permanently disabled and as a result of that
 disability is unable to perform the duties of the office shall retire.
 `(c)(1) An individual who retires under subsection (b) of this section and
 elects under subsection (d) of this section to receive retired pay under this
 subsection shall (except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection)
 receive retired pay at the rate of pay in effect at the time of retirement.
 `(2) An individual who serves as a judge for less than 10 years and who
 retires under subsection (b)(3) of this section and elects under subsection
 (d) of this section to receive retired pay under this subsection shall
 receive retired pay at a rate equal to one-half of the rate of pay in effect
 at the time of retirement.
 `(3) Retired pay under this subsection shall begin to accrue on the day
 following the day on which the individual's salary as judge ceases to accrue
 and shall continue to accrue during the remainder of the individual's
 life. Retired pay under this subsection shall be paid in the same manner
 as the salary of a judge.
 `(d)(1) A judge may elect to receive retired pay under subsection (c)
 of this section. Such an election--
 `(A) may be made only while an individual is a judge (except that, in the
 case of an individual who fails to be reappointed as judge at the expiration
 of a term of office, the election may be made at any time before the date
 after the day on which the individual's successor takes office); and
 `(B) may not be revoked after the retired pay begins to accrue.
 `(2) In the case of a judge other than the chief judge, such an election
 shall be made by filing notice of the election in writing with the chief
 judge. In the case of the chief judge, such an election shall be made by
 filing notice of the election in writing with the Director of the Office
 of Personnel Management.
 `(3) The chief judge shall transmit to the Director of the Office of
 Personnel Management a copy of each notice filed with the chief judge under
 this subsection.
 `(e) If an individual for whom an election to receive retired pay under
 subsection (c) is in effect accepts compensation for employment with the
 United States, the individual shall, to the extent of the amount of that
 compensation, forfeit all rights to retired pay under subsection (c) of
 this section for the period for which the compensation is received.
 `(f)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the provisions
 of the civil service retirement laws (including the provisions relating
 to the deduction and withholding of amounts from basic pay, salary, and
 compensation) shall apply with respect to service as a judge as if this
 section had not been enacted.
 `(2) In the case of any individual who has filed an election to receive
 retired pay under subsection (c) of this section--
 `(A) no annuity or other payment shall be payable to any person under the
 civil service retirement laws with respect to any service performed by such
 individual (whether performed before or after such election is filed and
 whether performed as judge or otherwise);
 `(B) no deduction for purposes of the Civil Service Retirement and
 Disability Fund shall be made from retired pay payable to that individual
 under subsection (c) of this section or from any other salary, pay, or
 compensation payable to that individual, for any period beginning after
 the day on which such election is filed; and
 `(C) such individual shall be paid the lump-sum credit computed under section
 8331(8) or 8401(a) of title 5, whichever applies, upon making application
 therefor with the Office of Personnel Management.
 `(g)(1) A judge who becomes permanently disabled and as a result of that
 disability is unable to perform the duties of the office shall certify to
 the President in writing that such permanent disability exists. If the
 chief judge retires for such a disability, the retirement of the chief
 judge shall not take effect until concurred in by the President. If any
 other judge retires for such a disability, the chief judge shall furnish
 to the President a certificate of disability signed by the chief judge.
 `(2) Whenever the President finds that a judge has become permanently
 disabled and as a result of that disability is unable to perform the duties
 of the office, the President shall declare that judge to be retired. Before a
 judge may be retired under this paragraph, the judge shall be provided with
 a full specification of the reasons for the retirement and an opportunity
 to be heard.
 `(h)(1) An individual who has filed an election to receive retired pay
 under subsection (c) of this section may revoke such election at any time
 before the first day on which retired pay would (but for such revocation)
 begin to accrue with respect to such individual.
 `(2) Any revocation under this subsection shall be made by filing a notice
 of the election in writing with the Director of the Office of Personnel
 Management. The Office of Personnel Management shall transmit to the chief
 judge a copy of each notice filed under this subsection.
 `(3) In the case of a revocation under this subsection--
 `(A) for purposes of this section, the individual shall be treated as
 not having filed an election to receive retired pay under subsection (c)
 of this section;
 `(B) for purposes of section 4097 of this title--
 `(i) the individual shall be treated as not having filed an election under
 section 4097(b) of this title, and
 `(ii) section 4097(e) of this title shall not apply and the amount credited
 to such individual's account (together with interest at 3 percent per year,
 compounded on December 31 of each year to the date on which the revocation
 is filed) shall be returned to the individual;
 `(C) no credit shall be allowed for any service as a judge of the Court
 unless with respect to such service either there has been deducted and
 withheld the amount required by the civil service retirement laws or there
 has been deposited in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund an
 amount equal to the amount so required, with interest;
 `(D) the Court shall deposit in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability
 Fund an amount equal to the additional amount it would have contributed to
 such Fund but for the election under subsection (d); and
 `(E) if subparagraphs (C) and (D) of this paragraph are complied with,
 service on the Court shall be treated as service with respect to which
 deductions and contributions had been made during the period of service.
 `(i)(1) Beginning with the next pay period after the Director of the Office
 of Personnel Management receives a notice under subsection (d) of this
 section that a judge has elected to receive retired pay under this section,
 the Director shall deduct and withhold 1 percent of the salary of such
 judge. Amounts shall be so deducted and withheld in a manner determined by
 the Director. Amounts deducted and withheld under this subsection shall
 be deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the
 Court of Veterans Appeals Judges Retirement Fund. Deductions under this
 subsection from the salary of a judge shall terminate upon the retirement
 of the judge or upon the completion of 15 years of service for which either
 deductions under this subsection or a deposit under subsection (j) of this
 section has been made, whichever occurs first.
 `(2) Each judge who makes an election under subsection (d) of this section
 shall be considered to agree to the deductions from salary which are made
 under paragraph (1) of this subsection.
 `(j) A judge who makes an election under subsection (d) of this section
 shall deposit, for service on the Court performed before the election for
 which contributions may be made under this section, an amount equal to 1
 percent of the salary received for the first years, not exceeding 15 years,
 of that service. Retired pay may not be allowed until a deposit required
 by this subsection has been made.
 `(k) The amounts deducted and withheld under subsection (i) of this section,
 and the amounts deposited under subsection (j) of this section, shall
 be deposited in the Court of Veterans Appeals Retirement Fund for credit
 to individual accounts in the name of each judge from whom such amounts
 are received.
`Sec. 4097. Survivor annuities
 `(a) For purposes of this section:
 `(1) The term `Court' means the United States Court of Veterans Appeals.
 `(2) The term `judge' means the chief judge or an associate judge of
 the Court.
 `(3) The term `pay' means salary received under section 4053(e) of this
 title and retired pay received under section 4096(c) of this title.
 `(4) The term `retirement fund' means the Court of Veterans Appeals Retirement
 Fund established under section 4098 of this title.
 `(5) The term `surviving spouse' means a surviving spouse of an individual
 who (A) was married to such individual for at least two years immediately
 preceding the individual's death, or (B) is a parent of issue by the marriage.
 `(6) The term `dependent child' has the meaning given the term `child'
 in section 376(a)(5) of title 28.
 `(7) The term `Member of Congress' means a Representative, a Senator,
 a Delegate to Congress, or the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico.
 `(b) A judge may become a participant in the annuity program under
 this section by filing a written election under this subsection while in
 office. Any such election shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed
 by the Court.
 `(c) There shall be deducted and withheld each pay period from the pay of a
 judge who has made an election under subsection (b) of this section a sum
 equal to 3.5 percent of the judge's pay. Amounts so deducted and withheld
 shall be deposited in the retirement fund. A judge who makes an election
 under subsection (b) of this section shall be considered by that election
 to agree to the deductions from the judge's pay required by this subsection.
 `(d) A judge who makes an election under subsection (b) of this section shall
 deposit, with interest at 3 percent per year compounded on December 31 of each
 year, to the credit of the retirement fund, an amount equal to 3.5 percent
 of the judge's pay and of the judge's basic salary, pay, or compensation for
 service as a Member of Congress, and for any other civilian service within
 the purview of section 8332 of title 5. Each such judge may elect to make
 such deposits in installments during the judge's period of service in such
 amount and under such conditions as may be determined in each instance by
 the chief judge. Notwithstanding the failure of a judge to make such deposit,
 credit shall be allowed for the service rendered, but the annual annuity of
 the surviving spouse of such judge shall be reduced by an amount equal to
 10 percent of the amount of such deposit, computed as of the date of the
 death of such judge, unless the surviving spouse elects to eliminate such
 service entirely from credit under subsection (k) of this section. However,
 a deposit shall not be required from a judge for any year with respect to
 which deductions from the judge's pay, or a deposit, were actually made
 (and not withdrawn) under the civil service retirement laws.
 `(e) If the service of a judge who makes an election under subsection (b)
 of this section terminates other than pursuant to the provisions of section
 4096 of this title, or if any judge ceases to be married after making the
 election under subsection (b) of this section and revokes (in a writing
 filed as provided in subsection (b) of this section) such election, the
 amount credited to the judge's individual account (together with interest
 at 3 percent per year compounded on December 31 of each year to the date of
 the judge's relinquishment of office) shall be returned to the judge. For
 the purpose of this section, the service of a judge making an election
 under subsection (b) of this section shall be considered to have terminated
 pursuant to section 4096 of this title if--
 `(1) the judge is not reappointed following expiration of the term for
 which appointed; and
 `(2) at or before the time of the expiration of that term, the judge
 is eligible for and elects to receive retired pay under section 4096 of
 this title.
 `(f)(1) If a judge who makes an election under subsection (b) of this section
 dies after having rendered at least 5 years of civilian service (computed as
 prescribed in subsection (l) of this section), for the last 5 years of which
 the salary deductions provided for by subsection (c) of this section or the
 deposits required by subsection (d) of this section have actually been made
 (and not withdrawn) or the salary deductions required by the civil service
 retirement laws have actually been made (and not withdrawn)--
 `(A) if the judge is survived by a surviving spouse but not by a dependent
 child, there shall be paid to the surviving spouse an annuity beginning
 with the day of the death of the judge or following the surviving spouse's
 attainment of the age of 50 years, whichever is the later, in an amount
 computed as provided in subsection (k) of this section; or
 `(B) if the judge is survived by a surviving spouse and a dependent child or
 children, there shall be paid to the surviving spouse an immediate annuity
 in an amount computed as provided in subsection (k) of this section and
 there shall also be paid to or on behalf of each such child an immediate
 annuity equal to the lesser of--
 `(i) 10 percent of the average annual pay of such judge (determined in
 accordance with subsection (k) of this section), or
 `(ii) 20 percent of such average annual pay, divided by the number of such
 children; or
 `(C) if the judge is not survived by a surviving spouse but is survived by
 a dependent child or children, there shall be paid to or on behalf of each
 such child an immediate annuity equal to the lesser of--
 `(i) 20 percent of the average annual pay of such judge (determined in
 accordance with subsection (k) of this section), or
 `(ii) 40 percent of such average annual pay, divided by the number of
 such children.
 `(2) The annuity payable to a surviving spouse under this subsection shall
 be terminated--
 `(A) upon the surviving spouse's death; or
 `(B) upon the remarriage of the surviving spouse before age 55.
 `(3) The annuity payable to a child under this subsection shall be terminated
 upon the child's death.
 `(4) In case of the death of a surviving spouse of a judge leaving a dependent
 child or children of the judge surviving the spouse, the annuity of such child
 or children under paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection shall be recomputed
 and paid as provided in paragraph (1)(C) of this subsection. In any case
 in which the annuity of a dependent child is terminated, the annuities of
 any remaining dependent child or children, based upon the service of the
 same judge, shall be recomputed and paid as though the child whose annuity
 was so terminated had not survived the judge.
 `(g) Questions of family relationships, dependency, and disability arising
 under this section shall be determined in the same manner as such questions
 arising under chapter 84 of title 5 are determined.
 `(h)(1) If--
 `(A) a judge making an election under subsection (b) of this section dies
 while in office (i) before having rendered 5 years of civilian service
 computed as prescribed in subsection (1) of this section, or (ii) after
 having rendered 5 years of such civilian service but without a survivor
 entitled to annuity benefits provided by subsection (f) of this section; or
 `(B) the right of all persons entitled to an annuity under subsection (f)
 of this section based on the service of such judge terminates before a
 claim for such benefits has been established,
the total amount credited to the individual account of such judge (with
interest at 3 percent per year, compounded on December 31 of each year, to
the date of the death of such judge) shall be paid in the manner specified
in paragraph (2) of this subsection.
 `(2) An amount payable under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be paid,
 upon the establishment of a valid claim therefor, to the person or persons
 surviving at the date title to the payment arises, in the following order
 of precedence:
 `(A) To the beneficiary or beneficiaries whom the judge designated in
 writing filed before death with the chief judge (except that in the case of
 the chief judge such designation shall be filed before death as prescribed
 by the Court).
 `(B) To the surviving spouse of the judge.
 `(C) To the child or children of the judge (and the descendants of any
 deceased children by representation).
 `(D) To the parents of the judge or the survivor of them.
 `(E) To the executor or administrator of the estate of the judge.
 `(F) To such other next of kin of the judge as may be determined by the
 chief judge to be entitled under the laws of the domicile of the judge at
 the time of the judge's death.
 `(3) Determination as to the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a judge
 for the purposes of paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be made without
 regard to the definitions in subsection (a) of this section.
 `(4) Payment under this subsection in the manner provided in this subsection
 shall be a bar to recovery by any other person.
 `(5) In a case in which the annuities of all persons entitled to annuity
 based upon the service of a judge terminate before the aggregate amount of
 annuity paid equals the total amount credited to the individual account of
 such judge (with interest at 3 percent per year, compounded on December 31
 of each year to the date of the death of the judge), the difference shall
 be paid, upon establishment of a valid claim therefor, in the order of
 precedence prescribed in paragraph (2) of this subsection.
 `(6) Any accrued annuity remaining unpaid upon the termination (other than
 by death) of the annuity of any individual based upon the service of a judge
 shall be paid to that individual. Any accrued annuity remaining unpaid upon
 the death of an individual receiving an annuity based upon the service of
 a judge shall be paid, upon the establishment of a valid claim therefor,
 in the following order of precedence:
 `(A) To the executor or administrator of the estate of that person.
 `(B) After 30 days after the date of the death of such individual, to such
 individual or individuals as may appear in the judgment of the chief judge
 to be legally entitled thereto.
Such payment shall be a bar to recovery by any other individual.
 `(i) When a payment under this section is to be made to a minor, or to a
 person mentally incompetent or under other legal disability adjudged by
 a court of competent jurisdiction, the payment may be made to the person
 who is constituted guardian or other fiduciary by the law of the State of
 residence of such claimant or is otherwise legally vested with the care of
 the claimant or the claimant's estate. If no guardian or other fiduciary
 of the person under legal disability has been appointed under the laws of
 the State of residence of the claimant, the chief judge shall determine
 the person who is otherwise legally vested with the care of the claimant
 or the claimant's estate.
 `(j) Annuities under this section shall accrue monthly and shall be due
 and payable in monthly installments on the first business day of the month
 following the month or other period for which the annuity has accrued. An
 annuity under this section is not assignable, either in law or in equity, or
 subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process.
 `(k)(1) The annuity of the surviving spouse of a judge making an election
 under subsection (b) of this section shall be an amount equal to the sum
 of the following:
 `(A) The product of--
 `(i) 1.5 percent of the judge's average annual pay; and
 `(ii) the sum of the judge's years of judicial service, the judge's years
 of prior allowable service as a Member of Congress, the judge's years of
 prior allowable service performed as a member of the Armed Forces, and the
 judge's years, not exceeding 15, of prior allowable service performed as
 a congressional employee (as defined in section 2107 of title 5).
 `(B) Three-fourths of 1 percent of the judge's average annual pay multiplied
 by the judge's years of allowable service not counted under subparagraph
 (A) of this paragraph.
 `(2) An annuity computed under this subsection may not exceed 50 percent of
 the judge's average annual pay and may not be less than 25 percent of such
 average annual pay. Such annuity shall be further reduced in accordance
 with subsection (d) of this section (if applicable).
 `(3) For purposes of this subsection, the term `average annual pay', with
 respect to a judge, means the average annual pay received by the judge for
 judicial service (including periods in which the judge received retired
 pay under section 4096 (d) of this title) or for any other prior allowable
 service during the period of three consecutive years in which the judge
 received the largest such average annual pay.
 `(l) Subject to subsection (d) of this section, the years of service of a
 judge which are allowable as the basis for calculating the amount of the
 annuity of the judge's surviving spouse shall include the judge's years of
 service as a judge of the Court, the judge's years of service as a Member
 of Congress, the judge's years of active service as a member of the Armed
 Forces not exceeding 5 years in the aggregate and not including any such
 service for which credit is allowed for the purposes of retirement or
 retired pay under any other provision of law, and the judge's years of any
 other civilian service within the purview of section 8332 of title 5.
 `(m) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prevent a
 surviving spouse eligible therefor from simultaneously receiving an annuity
 under this section and any annuity to which such spouse would otherwise be
 entitled under any other law without regard to this section, but in computing
 such other annuity service used in the computation of such spouse's annuity
 under this section shall not be credited.
 `(n) A judge making an election under subsection (b) of this section shall,
 at the time of such election, waive all benefits under the civil service
 retirement laws. Such a waiver shall be made in the same manner and shall
 have the same force and effect as an election filed under section 4096 (d)
 of this title.
 `(o) Whenever the salaries of judges paid under section 4053(e) of this
 title are increased, each annuity payable from the retirement fund which
 is based, in whole or in part, upon a deceased judge having rendered some
 portion of that judge's final 18 months of service as a judge of the Court,
 shall also be increased. The amount of the increase in the annuity shall be
 determined by multiplying the amount of the annuity on the date on which
 the increase in salaries becomes effective by 3 percent for each full 5
 percent by which those salaries were increased.
`Sec. 4098. Court of Veterans Appeals Retirement Fund
 `(a) There is established in the Treasury a fund known as the Court of
 Veterans Appeals Retirement Fund.
 `(b) Amounts in the fund are available for the payment of judges' retired pay
 under section 4096 of this title and of annuities, refunds, and allowances
 under section 4097 of this title.
 `(c) Amounts deposited by, or deducted and withheld from the salary and
 retired pay of, a judge under section 4096 or 4097 of this title shall be
 deposited in the fund and credited to an individual account of the judge.
 `(d) The chief judge of the Court of Veterans Appeals shall submit to the
 President an annual estimate of the expenditures and appropriations necessary
 for the maintenance and operation of the fund, and such supplemental and
 deficiency estimates as may be required from time to time for the same
 purposes, according to law.
 `(e)(1) The chief judge may cause periodic examinations of the retirement
 fund to be made by an actuary, who may be an actuary employed by another
 department of the Government temporarily assigned for the purpose.
 `(2)(A) Subject to the availability of appropriations, there shall be
 deposited in the Treasury to the credit of the retirement fund, not later
 than the close of each fiscal year, such amounts as may be required to
 reduce to zero the unfunded liability (if any) of the fund. Such deposits
 shall be taken from sums available for that fiscal year for the payment of
 the expenses of the Court.
 `(B) For purposes of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the term `unfunded
 liability', with respect to any fiscal year, means the amount estimated by
 the chief judge to be equal to the excess (as of the close of that fiscal
 year) of--
 `(i) the present value of all benefits payable from the fund (determined
 on an annual basis in accordance with section 9503 of title 31), over
 `(ii) the sum of--
 `(I) the present values of future deductions under sections 4096(i) and
 4097(c) of this title and future deposits under sections 4096(j) and 4096(d)
 of this title, and
 `(II) the balance in the fund as of the close of the fiscal year.
 `(C) Amounts deposited in the retirement fund under this paragraph shall
 not be credited to the account of any individual.
 `(f) The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest from time to time, in
 interest-bearing securities of the United States, such portions of the
 retirement fund as in such Secretary's judgment may not be immediately
 required for payments from the fund. The income derived from such investments
 shall constitute a part of the fund.'.
 (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter
 72 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:
`SUBCHAPTER V--RETIREMENT AND SURVIVORS ANNUITIES
`4096. Retirement of judges.
`4097. Survivor annuities.
`4098. Court of Veterans Appeals Retirement Fund.'.
SEC. 102. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.
 (a) CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT SYSTEM- Section 8334(i) of title 5, United
 States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
 `(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a judge who is covered by
 section 4096 of title 38 shall not be subject to deductions and contributions
 to the Fund, if the judge notifies the Director of the Office of Personnel
 Management of an election of a retirement annuity under that section. Upon
 such an election, the judge shall be entitled to a lump-sum credit under
 section 8342(a) of this title.'.
 (b) FEDERAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM- Section 8402 of title 5, United
 States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
 `(f) A judge who is covered by section 4096 of title 38 shall be excluded
 from the operation of this chapter if the judge notifies the Director of
 the Office of Personnel Management of an election of a retirement annuity
 under that section. Upon such election, the judge shall be entitled to a
 lump-sum credit under section 8424 of this title.'.
 (c) STANDARDS FOR REMOVAL OF JUDGES- Section 4053(f)(1) of title 38, United
 States Code, is amended in the first sentence--
 (1) by inserting `or' before `engaging'; and
 (2) by striking out `law,' and all that follows in that sentence and
 inserting in lieu thereof `law.'.
TITLE II--PROVISIONS RELATING TO ESTABLISHMENT OF COURT OF VETERANS APPEALS
SEC. 201. FACILITIES FOR THE COURT.
 (a) SPACE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA- The Administrator of General Services
 shall provide suitable building space in the District of Columbia for the
 United States Court of Veterans Appeals as the Court's principal place of
 business. The Administrator shall, if necessary, arrange for temporary
 space for the Court if permanent space is not immediately available for
 the Court. The Administrator shall place a high priority on the provision
 of such temporary and permanent space for the Court.
 (b) APPROVAL BY COURT- Any space to be provided for the Court of Veterans
 Appeals under subsection (a) must be acceptable to the Court.
 (c) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT- Any building space provided to the Court under
 subsection (a) shall be adjacent to additional building space (in an amount
 acceptable to the Court) that can be made available to the Court in the
 future if needed for expansion of the facilities of the Court.
SEC. 202. INTERIM PROVISION FOR FILING NOTICES OF APPEAL.
 In the case of a person adversely affected by a final decision of the
 Board of Veterans' Appeals that is made before the date on which the United
 States Court of Veterans Appeals has caused to be published in the Federal
 Register a notice by the Court that it has commenced operations, the period
 prescribed under section 4066 of title 38, United States Code, within which
 a notice of appeal must be filed with the Court shall be extended to the
 end of the 30-day period beginning on the date such notice is published,
 if the end of that period is later than the date that would otherwise be
 applicable under such section.
SEC. 203. INTERIM RULES OF THE COURT.
 The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (28 U.S.C. App.) shall be the
 interim rules of the United States Court of Veterans Appeals unless otherwise
 provided by the Court in accordance with chapter 72 of title 38, United
 States Code. If there is a conflict between a provision of the Federal Rules
 of Appellate Procedure and the procedures set forth in chapter 72 of title
 38, United States Code, the procedures set forth in such chapter shall apply.
SEC. 204. EMPLOYEES OF THE COURT.
 (a) EMPLOYMENT AUTHORITY- Section 4081 of title 38, United States Code,
 is amended to read as follows:
`Sec. 4081. Employees
 `(a) The Court of Veterans Appeals may appoint a clerk without regard to the
 provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service. The
 clerk shall serve at the pleasure of the Court.
 `(b) The judges of the Court may appoint law clerks and secretaries, in
 such numbers as the Court may approve, without regard to the provisions
 of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service. Any such law
 clerk or secretary shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing judge.
 `(c) The clerk, with the approval of the Court, may appoint necessary
 deputies and employees without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing
 appointments in the competitive service.
 `(d) The Court may fix and adjust the rates of basic pay for the clerk and
 other employees of the Court without regard to the provisions of chapter 51,
 subchapter III of chapter 53, or section 5373 of title 5. To the maximum
 extent feasible, the Court shall compensate employees at rates consistent
 with those for employees holding comparable positions in the judicial branch.
 `(e) In making appointments under subsections (a) through (c) of this section,
 preference shall be given, among equally qualified persons, to persons who
 are preference eligibles (as defined in section 2108(3) of title 5).
 `(f) The Court may procure the services of experts and consultants under
 section 3109 of title 5.
 `(g) The Chief Judge of the Court may exercise the authority of the Court
 under this section whenever there are not at least two associate judges of
 the Court.
 `(h) The Court shall not be considered to be an agency within the meaning
 of section 3132(a)(1) of title 5.'.
 (b) LIMITATION ON CONVERSION OF EMPLOYEES TO COMPETITIVE SERVICE-
 Notwithstanding clause (1)(A) of the proviso under the heading `Court of
 Veterans Appeals' in chapter XI of Public Law 101-45, no employee of the
 United States Court of Veterans Appeals may be converted to the competitive
 service without the approval of the Court.
 (c) EFFECTIVE DATE- Notwithstanding section 401 of the Veterans' Judicial
 Review Act, the authority provided by section 4081 of title 38, United
 States Code, as amended by subsection (a), shall take effect on the date
 of the enactment of this Act.
TITLE III--TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS
SEC. 301. EFFECTIVE DATE FOR NEW RULE FOR REOPENING BOARD OF VETERANS'
APPEALS DISALLOWED CASES.
 Section 401(d) of the Veterans' Judicial Review Act (Public Law 100-687;
 102 Stat. 4122) is amended to read as follows:
 `(d) BOARD OF VETERANS' APPEALS- Sections 202, 203, 205, 206, and 207 shall
 take effect as of January 1, 1989. Section 204 shall take effect on September
 1, 1989.'.
SEC. 302. OTHER TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS.
 (a) CROSS-REFERENCE TO NEW SECTION- Section 3301(b)(1) of title 38, United
 States Code, is amended by striking out `section 4009' and inserting in
 lieu thereof `section 3009 or 4009'.
 (b) REVIEW OF COURT DECISIONS- Section 4092(d)(1) of such title is amended
 by striking out `statute or'.
 (c) APPLICABILITY OF AMENDMENTS- The amendments made by subsections (a)
 and (b) shall take effect as if included in the Veterans' Judicial Review Act.
 (d) REDESIGNATION OF DUPLICATE SECTION NUMBER- (1) The section 223 of
 title 38, United States Code, added by section 203(b)(1) of the Veterans'
 Benefits and Services Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-322; 102 Stat. 509)
 is redesignated as section 224.
 (2) The item relating to that section in the table of sections at the
 beginning of chapter 3 of that title is revised to reflect the redesignation
 made by paragraph (1).
TITLE IV--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
SEC. 401. NONCAREER APPOINTMENTS IN DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.
 Section 12(c)(2) of the Department of Veterans Affairs Act (Public Law
 100-527; 102 Stat. 2642) is amended--
 (1) by inserting `(A)' before `any person'; and
 (2) by inserting before the period at the end the following: `, or (B)
 any person to (i) a Senior Executive Service position as a noncareer
 appointee, or (ii) a position which is excepted from the competitive
 service, on a temporary or permanent basis, because of the confidential or
 policy-determining character of the position'.
SEC. 402. ACTING CHIEF JUDGE IN EVENT OF VACANCY.
 Section 4054 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the
 end the following new subsection:
 `(d) In the event of a vacancy in the position of chief judge of the Court,
 the associate judge senior in service on the Court shall serve as acting
 chief judge unless the President designates one of the other associate judges
 to serve as acting chief judge, in which case the judge so designated shall
 serve as acting chief judge.'.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Vice President of the United States and
President of the Senate.