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Esco  
#1 Posted : Friday, September 13, 2019 5:49:06 PM(UTC)
Esco

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Hello everyone,

I'm hoping to pick someones brain. I have a question about an erroneous administrative error. I was hired in 2015 as a Law Enforcement Officer at the Dept of Commerce. They placed me in the incorrect retirement system category within FERS. They placed in the FERS system which requires me to contribute 1.3% of my pay towards retirement. However, I should have been placed in the “FERS-FRAE” system which would require me to contribute 4.9% of my salary. Now that I’m at the Department of Agriculture, they did not catch the error until this month. It has been nearly 5 years since the error has been made between both agencies.

Since this is an erroneous error on two agencies part and in no way would a reasonable employee know that there are multiple retirement categories with different contribution rates within “FERS”, would this constitute a FERCCA eligibility? If so, what are the steps for me to take? If this is not qualifying for FERCCA, what are my options? I would like to respectfully request that either my agency or OPM absolve the indebtedness. I just don't know where to begin and there wasn't much help from HR other than they're going to put me in the correct category (FERS-FRAE) and that would generate a bill that I would have to pay (roughly $13k).

Any help on this issue is appreciated, thank you.

Edited by user Friday, September 13, 2019 5:50:53 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Grammar

SD Analyst  
#2 Posted : Saturday, September 14, 2019 3:27:29 PM(UTC)
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You may have better luck posting this under the OPM or Retirement Planning forums. Retirement Planning forum

That being said, you would have to file an appeal with OPM. It is highly unlikely to go in your favor. If you read MSPB decisions on OPM cases (mspb.gov), they have decided many times that an Agency mistake does not absolve you of the requirement to pay the debt. You would start by filing an Administrative Grievance. Your Agency is required to tell you how. If you belong to a Union, ask for their help.

It may be a FERCCA claim. Tell HR you want to file one. Here is an FAQ on OPM's website. FERCCA FAQ

Edited by user Saturday, September 14, 2019 3:36:46 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 1 user thanked SD Analyst for this useful post.
Esco on 9/15/2019(UTC)
Esco  
#3 Posted : Sunday, September 15, 2019 4:49:39 AM(UTC)
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Thank you SD Analyst.

I went to the MSPB website and am unable to located cases that are similar to my situation, would you be able to point me in the right direction? Thanks again.
SD Analyst  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, September 18, 2019 7:02:45 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Esco Go to Quoted Post
Thank you SD Analyst.

I went to the MSPB website and am unable to located cases that are similar to my situation, would you be able to point me in the right direction? Thanks again.


Here's one, not exactly the same, but states OPM cannot waive payment that is required in statute. It is about a request to waive interest on a retirement redeposit, after Agency told her to not repay it. See Para.13, AT-0831-13-0372-I-1 issued 8/20/14. They use the same line, even if the Agency gave you bad advice, oh well...

I know there are more on point, but don't have time to find right now. Best way to find them is go to https://www.mspb.gov/dec...ons/nonprecdecsearch.htm and put in PERSONNEL for the Agency, then use search terms like "wrong AND retirement AND waiver" or something similar.

Good luck.
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