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Sec. 14. That for the purpose of administration, except as otherwise provided herein, the Commissioner of Pensions, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, be, and is hereby, authorized and directed to perform, or cause to be performed, any and all acts and to make such rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this act into full force and effect.
SEC. 15. That an appeal may be taken to the Secretary of the Interior from the final action or order of the Commissioner of Pensions in all matters relating to the granting or payment of annuities, refunds, or allowances provided in this act, and such appeal shall be acted upon in accordance with the existing rules and practice of the Department of the Interior governing pension appeals.
SEC. 16. That payment of annuities, refunds, and allowances as herein provided shall be made by the disbursing clerk for the payment of pensions, and with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, checks in payment of annuities may be drawn without separate vouchers or receipts, but in such form as to protect the United States against loss: Provided, That vouchers shall be required in all cases in which payment of annuities, refunds, or allowances are to be made to some person other than the annuitant, and in all other cases in which the Secretary of the Interior may deem it necessary.
SEC. 17. That it shall be the duty of the head of each executive department and the head of each independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government not within the jurisdiction of any executive department to report to the Civil Service Commission, in such manner as said commission may prescribe, the name and grade of each employee to whom this act applies in or under said department or establishment who shall be at any time in a nonpay status, showing the dates such employee was in a nonpay status, and the amount of salary, pay, or compensation lost by the employee by reason of such absence. The Civil Service Commission shall keep such record of appointments, transfers, changes in grade, separations from the service, and losses of pay as shall enable it to supply the Commissioner of Pensions, on request, with accurate information as to the amount of salary, pay, or compensation deducted and withheld from any individual under the provisions of this act.
SEC. 18. That none of the moneys mentioned in this act shall be assignable, either in law or equity, or be subject to execution, levy, or attachment, garnishment, or other legal process.
SEC. 19. That for clerical and other services and all other expenses necessary in carrying out the provisions of this act, there is hereby appropriated the sum of $50,000 out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, which sum shall be immediately available and continue available until the end of the fiscal year next after the passage of this act, and of this sum $20,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, shall be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, and $30,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, shall be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior; thereafter each officer shall include in his annual estimate of appropriations a sum sufficient to continue this act in full force and effect.
SEC. 20. That all laws and parts of laws inconsistent with this act are hereby repealed.
A BILL For the retirement of employees in the classified civil service.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That beginning with the first day of July next following the passage of this act there shall be deducted and withheld from the monthly salary, pay, or compensation of every officer or employee of the United States to whom this act applies an amount computed to the nearest tenth of a dollar that will be sufficient, w'th interest thereon at four per centum per annum, compounded annually, to purchase from the United States an annuity, payable quarterly throughout life, for every such employee on arrival at the age of retirement, as herein provided. The deductions herein provided for shall, in the case of employees who are in service of the Government at the time this act goes into effect, not to exceed eight per centum of the said salary, pay, or compensation; and shall be based on such annuity tables as the Secretary of the Treasury may direct, and interest at the rate of four per centum per annum, compounded annually, and shall be varied to correspond to any change in the rate of salary, pay, or compensation of the employee : Provided, however, That the deductions made from the salary, pay, or compensation of persons hereafter entering the service shall not exceed eight per centum thereof and such persons shall be entitled to such annuities only as said deductions with accumulations of interest thereon will purchase.
SEC. 2. That the amounts so deducted and withheld shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States and credited, with interest thereon, to an individual account of the officer or employee from whose salary, pay, or compensat on the deduction is made, and the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby directed to invest and reinvest such funds or any portion of such funds in any of the following securities, namely: Bonds of the United States, bonds issued under the provisions of the Federal farm loan act, bonds or other interestbearing obligations of any State of the United States, or any county or municipal bonds which may be approved by the board of investments hereinafter provided for.
The moneys deducted from salaries and the income derived therefrom shall be held and invested, as above described, by the Secretary of the Treasury until paid, as is hereafter provided. Any deficiency in the fund hereby created to carry out the provisions of this act shall be paid out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.
For the purpose of aiding the Secretary of the Treasury in investing the funds and enforcing the provisions of this act, a Board of Investment is hereby created, composed of the Treasurer of the United States, one person to be appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury from his department, and one person to be designated by the President from among the employees of the classified civil service. The members of the board of investment shall be sworn and shall hold office until others are appointed and qualified in their stead.
Sec. 3. That all those engaged in the classified civil service shall be retired at seventy years of age and shall be entitled to the annuities and benefits herein defined : Provided, however, That if within thirty days before an officer or employee reaches the retirement age the head of the department or independent office in which he is employed certifies to the Secretary of the Treasury that by reason of his efficiency and willingness to remain in the service the further continuance of such officer or employee would be advantageous to the public service, he may be retained for a further period not exceeding two years, and at the end of two years, by similar certification, he may be continued for another period not exceeding two years. Upon the failure of the head of the department or independent office to make the above-described certificates, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to place such employee upon the retired list.
SEC. 4. That upon absolute separation from the classified civil service prior to the age of sixty years, and only upon such separation, the officer or employee may withdraw his savings then credited to his account, with the accumulations thereon, in one sum. In case of the death of an officer or employee while in the service the amount of his savings and accumulations thereon shall be paid to his legal representatives.
SEC. 5. That upon separation from the classified civil service at any time within ten years prior to the age of retirement the officer or employee shall receive such life annuity as his accumulated earnings, including the interest credited thereon, may purchase: Provided, however, That if said employee should die before receiving in annuities a sum equal to his accumulated savings, including the interest credited thereon, together with the compound interest thereon, as herein provided, then the balance remaining to his credit over and above the annuities received by him shall be paid to his legal representatives.
SEC. 6. That in case of reinstatement in the classified civil service of any person who at the time of his separation therefrom received a refund under section four of this act, he shall be deemed to be a new entrant to the service, and the monthly deductions from his salary shall be computed from his age at the date of such reinstatement unless he shall within ninety days after reinstatement pay to the Treasurer of the United States the amount refunded to him, which shall be applied toward the purchase of the annuity herein provided for, and the deductions from his salary thereafter shall be only for such sums as may be necessary to pay for the balance of said annuity.
SEC. 8. That beginning with the first day of July next following the passage of this act every officer or employee then or thereafter in the classified civil service who at that time or thereafter shall have reached the retirement age shall be retired, and if in the service of the United States for twenty years or more shall receive from the United States during the remainder of his life an annuity, payable quarterly, equal to one-half of the average annual salary, pay, or compensation received during his entire period of service after July first, nineteen hundred and twelve, such annuity not to exceed a maximum of $600, and to cease at his death. Those who have served less than twenty years shall be entitled to one-twentieth of such annuity for each year of said service: Provided, however, That if such officer or employee at his death shall not have received annuities equal to the amount of the savings and deductions from his salary, pay or compensation with compound interest as hereinbefore provided, the United States shall pay to his legal representatives the balance remaining to his credit.
SEC. 9. Upon the retirement of officers and employees as herein provided during any fiscal year, the funds appropirated for their salaries which remain unexpended shall be applied as follows:
First. To the payment of their annuities;
Third. The balance shall be available in the department or independent office from which said employees are retired, for the appointment of other officers or employees in the lower grades. Except as herein provided, all annuities shall be paid out of appropriations specially made for that purpose.
SEC. 10. That every officer and employee in the classified civil service after this act takes effect shall be deemed to consent and agree to the deductions made and provided for herein and shall receipt in full for the salary, pay, or compensation which may be paid monthly or at any other time, and such payment shall be a full and complete discharge and acquittance of all claims and demands whatsoever for all services rendered by such person during the period covered by such payment, except his claim for the benefits to which he may be entitled under the provisions of this act, notwithstanding the provisions of sections one hundred and sixty-seven, one hundred and sixty-eight, and one hundred and sixty-nine of the Revised Statutes of the United States and of any other law, rule, or regulation affecting the salary, pay, or compensation of any person or persons employed in the classified civil service to whom this act applies.
SEC. 11. That the Secretary of the Treasury shall prepare and keep all needful tables, records, and accounts required for carrying out the provisions of this act, including data showing the mortality experience of the officers and employees in the service and the rate of withdrawal from such service, and any other information that may serve as a guide for future valuations and adjustments of the plan for the retirement of officers and employees. The Secretary of the Treasury shall make a detailed comparative report annually to Congress showing all receipts and disbursements, together with the total number of persons receiving annuities and the amounts paid them.
SEC. 12. That this act shall apply only to persons in the competitive classified civil service of the United States, including the District of Columbia, the Canal Zone, and the island possessions, whose salaries, pay, or compensation is paid from moneys of the United States, and shall not apply to postmasters or to persons serving in positions excepted from examination, as defined in the civilservice rules. Whenever any person shall become separated from the classified civil service by reason of appointment in the unclassified service, such separation shall operate to take him out of the provisions of this act, except as to payment of any amount that may be due him. The President shall have power, in his discretion, to exclude from the operation of this act any group of employees whose tenure of office is intermittent or of uncertain duration.
SEC. 13. That none of the moneys mentioned by this act shall be assignable either in law or equity, or be subject to execution or levy by attachment, garnishment, or other legal process or to the payment of taxes, local, State, or Federal; nor shall any money paid to any employee or to the legal representatives of a deceased employee be subject to the payment of the debts of such employee.
SEC. 14. That for the clerical and other service and all other expenses necessary for carrying out the provisions of this act during the fiscal year nineteen hundred and seventeen, including salaries and rent in the District of Columbia, there is hereby appropriated the sum of $20,000 out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated. No cfficer or employee receiving a regular salary or compensation from the Government shall receive any additional salary or compensation for any service rendered in connection with the system of retiring employees provided for by this act.
Sec. 15. That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to perform or cause to be performed any or all acts anól to make such rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this act into full force and effect; and his decision as to the amount to be deducted, the amount of interest to be credited, the amount of an annuity or refund to be paid, in any case, shall be final and conclusive and shall not be subject to review by any officer or authority.
The CHAIRMAN. There are several gentlemen to be heard, and I will call on Mr. Alcorn to present the speakers.
STATEMENT OF MR. ROBERT H. ALCORN, CHAIRMAN JOINT CIVIL
SERVICE RETIREMENT COMMITTEE, OF WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. ALCORN. Mr. Chairman, there are a good many representatives here from the various organizations and various departments of the Government, representing the civil-service employees, who would like to be heard on the question of retirement.
The CHAIRMAN. Could you have one spokesman for each view, if I may put it that way! I will leave that to you largely if you can arrange it.
Mr. ALCORN. All right, sir. I have arranged that Mr. Goldschmidt, as president of the United States Civil Service Retirement Association, should be heard first, as he desires to get away early, and for that reason would like to be heard now.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well. Mr. Goldschmidt you will proceed.
STATEMENT OF MR. DANIEL GOLDSCHMIDT, PRESIDENT UNITED
STATES CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION.
Mr. GOLDSCHMIDT. I am president of the United States Civil Service Retirement Association. We have for 18 years been consistently advocating this cause of retirement, mainly under a contributory and on a scientific and equitable basis. But we have come now to that condition where we are advocating a retirement measure, leaving it largely to the Senators and to Congress to give us what they see fit. We come to you to plead with all the arguments that are fair, just, and humane to ask that you use your best endeavors to have a retirement law passed that will open the back door of the civil service for the retirement of thousands of aged men and women in the Government employ who have devoted nearly all of their youth and vigor to the service of this Republic. We humbly ask you to provide these old and superannuated employees with a pension or annuity to support and keep them for the few remaining years of their lives in a respectable condition. Indeed, we come to you as your sons and daughters would come, for you are our fathers. We ask you, “ Have we done well? Have we been faithful? Have we served you well all our lives?” Then give us our reward before our eyes and brain and body fail us. It is through no fault of ours that we have not provided for our old age. Our salaries have not been so large as they should have been. The high cost of living for the last 10 years and the many calls on our purses, which is a result of poor pay in the service, has left us in such a condition that separation from the service for the old would mean privation and suffering.
You gentlemen are very busy in these days of war legislation, and I fear in the turmoil and excitement that prevails in Washington you have forgotten this fact: The successful termination of this war for humanity is a great deal dependent upon the faithful and
painstaking performance of their duty by these 500,000 sons and daughters in the Government employ who are mainly responsible for keeping the wheels of the Government going at high tension. Thousands are working all hours of the night---doing their bit-Sundays and holidays—they never fail at this critical moment. Many of these same men will go to the front and will not need this legislation we are looking for so earnestly and seriously. Many will not come back. I am 46 years of age with one of the dearest homes in the United States, the finest little family, a wife and children; I am outside of the ages they are drafting for the war, but I am willing to do whatever my country asks of me. If they need me, I will go in the front rank, ready to answer the call, and there are thousands just like me in the civil service. The heads of divisions in the Navy Department and in the War Department, Mr. Chairman, and in fact all through the services, say they need new blood. But we emphatically ask you not to allow these old faithful employees to be cast out helpless in their old age. Retirement merely means a few million dollars to you, a little humanity to us, and an opportunity for the aged and superannuated to live their few remaining years in peace and comfort.
We ask you to give these old men, who are ready to retire, $600 per annum, and if you think the Government should have help to pay the pension through us, let the clerks give a small contribution.
Gentleman, there have been tons of data on this subject given by the departments and employees before both the House and Senate, and so we ask you to sift these figures and facts, after taking the best ideas from all, and evolve a law that will give satisfaction to yourselves and do justice to the employees. Give us what you think we need, something to begin with, that will provide for those who are in danger of being dropped by reason of inefficiency due to old age at the present time. If you decide upon a contributory plan, we beg to suggest that our salaries can not stand a large contribution without an increase of salary. I am in favor of a contributory plan, one that is sound and equitable, and can stand the actuary's test. It is simply a question of mathematics, but our salaries can not at the present time stand the deduction.
We thank you, and appreciate the fact that you have given us of your very valuable time, and hope that your hearings will be the forerunner of a law which the Democratic platform is pledged to. Gentleman, the President of the United States stands ready with his pen in hand to sign a retirement law if you will pass one.
I do not want to take up any more of your time, gentlemen. I would like to submit a paper written by me to be added to what I have said.
The CHAIRMAN. I would be very glad, indeed, to have you do so. (The paper referred to above is here printed in full, as follows:) It has been the tendency of the United States Civil Service Retirement Association and its branches, and also several of the other civil-service employee associations, not to press too strongly on Congress during this extra session for retirement legislation, on account of the many important war measures that confronts them.
However, in view of the events of the past few weeks it is not untimely to call to the attention of Congress the following facts to which each and every Congressman and Congresswoman and United States Senator should give their individual attention.