Summary: H.R.2300 — 98th Congress (1983-1984)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (10/10/1984)

(Measure passed Senate, amended)

Civil Service Retirement Spouse Equity Act of 1984 - Requires a reduction in the civil service annuity of a Federal employee or a Member of Congress in order to provide a survivor annuity for his or her spouse, unless the employee or Member and spouse jointly waive the spouse's right to a survivor annuity at the time of the employee's or Member's retirement. (Currently, an employee or Member may elect not to provide for a survivor annuity by notifying the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that he or she does not desire a spouse to receive an annuity.) Allows an employee or Member to waive the survivor annuity without his or her spouse's consent only after establishing to OPM that: (1) the spouse's location cannot be determined; or (2) due to exceptional circumstances, requiring the spouse's consent would be inappropriate.

Permits an employee or Member to elect to receive a reduced annuity in order to provide a survivor annuity for a former spouse, provided that such election: (1) does not conflict with any previously existing decree of divorce or annulment, court order, or court-approved property settelement agreement providing for such a survivor annuity; or (2) would not cause the total survivor annuities provided by such employee or Member to exceed 55 percent of his or her annuity; and (3) is made with the consent of the employee's or Member's current spouse, with specified exceptions. Requires such an annuity reduction to provide a survivor annuity for a former spouse if required under a decree of divorce or annulment, court order, or court-approved property settlement agreement. Ends the annuity reduction if the former spouse remarries before age 55 or dies, unless: (1) the employee or Member elects, within two years after such remarriage or death, to continue the reduction in order to provide or increase a survivor annuity for a current spouse, or a former spouse, with the consent of the current spouse; or (2) continuation of the reduction is necessary to provide for a survivor annuity previously established for another former spouse.

Allows an employee or Member who is married or unmarried at the time of retirement and who remarries after retirement to elect, within two years after the later of the date of such remarriage or the date of death or remarriage of any former spouse who was entitled to a survivor annuity, to receive a reduced annuity and make any necessary deposit, plus interest, in order to provide a survivor annuity to his or her current spouse.

Allows an employee or Member who is married at the time of retirement to elect to receive a reduced annuity to provide a survivor annuity to an individual having an insurable interst in such employee or Member.

Reduces from one year to nine months (with specified exceptions) the period for which a spouse must have been married to an employee or Member to qualify for a survivor annuity.

Terminates the survivor annuity of an individual who remaries before becoming 55 (currently 60) years of age.

Reduces the survivor annuity of any widow or widower by the amount of any survivor annuity payable to a former spouse. Reduces the survivor annuity of any former spouse by the amount of any survivor annuity payable to any other former spouse.

Entitles the children of an employee or Member and a former spouse to survivor annuities to the same extent as provided for the surviving children of the employee's or Member's current spouse.

Specifies conditions under which the terms of a decree of divorce or annulment, a court order, or a court-approved property settlement agreement will not be effective with respect to the survivor annuity of a former spouse.

Authorizes payment of a lump-sum credit for civil service retirement contributions to an employee or Member only if any current or former spouse is notified of such employee's or Member's application for such payment, unless such spouse cannot be located. Subjects such a payment to the terms of a court order or decree relating to any portion of such payment or to a survivor annuity of a former spouse that would be precluded if such payment were made.

Provides that provisions of Federal law limiting the minimum amount of a civil service annuity to the smallest primary insurance amount under Old Age, Survivor and Disability Insurance shall not apply to any court-order survivor annuity for a former spouse or to any survivor annuity for a current spouse that has been reduced by the amount of any survivor annuity for a former spouse.

Entitles any former spouse of a Member, Federal employee, former employee, or civil service annuitant who has not remarried before age 55, who is entitled to any portion of an annuity as a former spouse under a retirement system for Federal employees, and who was enrolled in a Federal employees' health benefits plan as a family member at any time during the 18-month period before the dissolution of marriage to such employee or annuitant to enroll in a Federal employees' health benefits plan. Authorizes such enrollment as an individual or for self and family, subject to agreement to pay the full subscription charge, within 60 days after dissolution of the marriage or within 60 days after an election is made under this Act to provide a survivor annuity for such former spouse, whichever is later. Limits family coverage to the unmarried dependent natural or adopted children of the former spouse and the employee who are under 22 years of age or incapable of self-support because of mental or physical disability before age 22.

Sets forth conditions under which survivor benefits and participation in a Federal employees' health benefits plan shall be authorized for certain former spouses or post-retirement spouses of Members and employees who retired prior to the effective date of this Act. Provides for funding such survivor annuities from the Treasury.

Title II: Performance Management and Recognition System - Revises the merit pay system. Renames the system the performance management and recognition system.

Allows the President to exclude any class of employees within any agency unit from such system under specified conditions. Excludes employees of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Botanic Garden, and the Administrative Office of the Courts from such system. Excludes from system coverage for 12 months after enactment of this Act any agency or agency unit which was excluded from coverage under the merit pay system immediately before enactment of this Act.

Declares that such system shall provide for general pay increases, merit increases, and performance awards based on an employee's performance as measured on a five-level scale consisting of one fully successful level, two levels below fully successful, and two levels above fully successful.

Requires that any employee whose performance is rated at: (1) the second level below fully successful receive no general pay increase; (2) the first level below fully successful receive one half of the general increase; and (3) the fully successful level or above receive the full general increase.

Authorizes annual merit increases to take effect on the first applicable pay period beginning on or after October 1 of each year. Sets the amount of a merit increase at one-ninth of the difference between the minimum and maximum rates of basic pay for the pay grade. Provides for the award of a full merit increase or a fraction thereof based on the employee's level of performance and the employee's basic pay rate within his or her pay grade. Denies merit increases to employees who perform below the fully successful level.

Prohibits an employee covered by the performance management and recognition system from being paid at a rate greater than the maximum rate of basic pay for the grade of the employee's position. Allows a covered employee to be paid less than the minimum pay for such grade only as a result of the employee failing to qualify for a full general pay increase. Prohibits a reduction in the pay of an employee brought under such system so long as the employee continues to occupy the same position.

Requires the payment of a performance award in an amount not more than ten percent and, after FY 1985, not less than two percent of an employee's annual rate of basic pay to any employee whose performance is rated at the second level above fully successful. Authorizes the payment of a performance award; (1) exceeding ten percent but not exceeding 20 percent of an employee's basic pay if the agency head determines that such award is warranted by unusually outstanding performance; and (2) not exceeding ten percent of an employees's basic pay to any employee whose performance is rated at the first level either above or at the fully successful level. Limits the Funds available to an agency for performance awards to a specified percentage of the agency funds payable for the basic pay of employees under the performance management and recognition system, provided that the agency employed the equivalent of at least 20 full-time employees in a fiscal year.

Continues the cash award program (currently provided under the merit pay system) under the performance management and recognition system.

Directs OPM to report to the President and Congress annually on the effectiveness of such system. Terminates such system on September 30, 1989.

Requires agencies to develop separate performance appraisal procedures for employees covered by such system. Requires such performance appraisal procedures to require the joint participation of the supervising official and the employee in establishing performance standards. Directs OPM to prescribe regulations requiring that such procedures assure accurate evaluation of job performance, communication with employees regarding performance standards at the beginning of each appraisal period, evaluation of employees based upon such standards, assistance to employees performing below the fully successful level, and the reassignment, reduction in grade, or removal of any employee who continues to perform at a level which is two levels below the fully successful level after being afforded reasonable opportunity to improve his or her performance. Lists factors to be considered in performance appraisals, which may include organizational accomplishment.

Authorizes the review of an employee's performance appraisal by an agency employee. Requires the reconsideration of an employee's appraisal by a superior to the appraiser at the employee's request. Bars any appeal of a performance appraisal outside the agency.

Requires each agency to establish a performance standards review board to: (1) assess the agency's performance standards; (2) study the feasibility of an awards program based on the collective performance of groups of employees under the performance management and recognition system; and (3) provide technical assistance with respect to demonstration projects relating to performance standards.

Prohibits OPM or any agency from prescribing any particular distribution of levels of performance ratings or any specific performance standard or element. Prohibits any reduction in the basic pay rate of an individual serving in a position which: (1) is under the merit pay system before the effective date of this title solely because such position does not become covered by the performance management and recognition system; or (2) ceases to be covered by the performance management and recognition system upon termination of such system.

Title III: Senior Executive Service - Expresses the sense of Congress that the Senior Executive Service should be continued indefinitely.

Establishes the minimum amount of a performance award for a career appointee in the Senior Executive Service (SES) as five percent of the appointee's basic pay rate. Limits the aggregate amount of performance awards payable to SES career appointees of an agency to a specified percentage of the basic pay payable to such appointees during the preceding fiscal year.

Requires OPM to place a career appointee for whom an SES position is not available in his or her original agency due to a reduction-in-force in an SES position in any other agency unless that agency's head determines that such appointee is not qualified. Permits removal from the SES (but not from the civil service as currently prodived) of a career appointee who: (1) declines a reasonable offer for placement in an SES position in another agency; or (2) cannot be placed in an SES position in another agency within 45 days after the appointee's original agency certifies that no SES position exists for such appointee within that agency. Entitles a career appointee who is removed from the SES for such reasons to be placed in a civil service position. Entitles a career appointee to appeal to the Merit System Protection Board whether a reduction-in-force complies with required competitive procedures for determining who shall be removed.

Prohibits a career appointee from being reassigned outside of his or her commuting area unless he or she is consulted and provided 60 days notice concerning such reassignment. Directs OPM to prescribe regulations providing career appointees rights comparable to competing employees in the event of a transfer of functions between agencies. Authorizes an agency to take an adverse action against an employee because the employee fails to accept a directed reassignment or to accompany a position in a transfer of function. Provides that the involuntary separation of an employee for failure to accept a directed reassignment to a position or to accompany a position in a transfer of function outside his or her commuting area shall not be considered to be a removal for cause on charges of misconduct or delinquency in determining such employee's eligibility for immediate civil service retirement.

Requires the pay of a career appointee exceeding the limitation on the aggregate amount a senior executive may be paid in a fiscal year to be paid to such appointee in a lump sum at the beginning of the next fiscal year and counted against the limitation for that year.

Requires OPM's biennial report to Congress on the SES to specify the number of SES career appointees who were removed from the SES as a result of a reduction-in-force and placed in a General Schedule position.

Authorizes the furlough of SES career appointees for insufficient work or funds or for other nondisciplinary reasons. Entitles a furloughed employee to appeal his or her status to the Merit System Protection Board.