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Title 5 Part 842 → Subpart J

Title 5 → Chapter I → Subchapter B → Part 842 → Subpart J

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 5 Part 842 → Subpart J

e-CFR data is current as of April 6, 2020

Title 5Chapter ISubchapter BPart 842 → Subpart J


Title 5: Administrative Personnel
PART 842—FEDERAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM—BASIC ANNUITY


§842.1001   Applicability and purpose.

(a) This subpart contains regulations of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to supplement—

(1) 5 U.S.C. 8412(d) and (e), which establish special retirement eligibility for law enforcement officers, members of the Capitol Police and Supreme Court Police, firefighters, nuclear materials couriers, customs and border protection officers, and air traffic controllers employed under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS);

(2) 5 U.S.C. 8422(a), pertaining to deductions;

(3) 5 U.S.C. 8423(a), pertaining to Government contributions; and

(4) 5 U.S.C. 8425, pertaining to mandatory retirement.

(b) The regulations in this subpart are issued pursuant to the authority given to OPM in 5 U.S.C. 8461(g) to prescribe regulations to carry out the provisions of 5 U.S.C. chapter 84, in 5 U.S.C. 1104 to delegate authority for personnel management to the heads of agencies and pursuant to the authority given the Director of OPM in section 535(d) of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008, Division E of Public Law 110-161, 121 Stat. 1844.

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§842.1002   Definitions.

As used in this subpart:

Agency head means the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. For purposes of an approval of coverage under this subpart, agency head is also deemed to include the designated representative of the Secretary of Department of Homeland Security, except that the designated representative must be a department headquarters-level official who reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security, or to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, and who is the sole such representative for the entire department. For the purposes of a denial of coverage under this subpart, agency head is also deemed to include the designated representative of the Secretary of Department of Homeland Security at any level within the Department of Homeland Security.

Customs and border protection officer means an employee in the Department of Homeland Security occupying a position within the Customs and Border Protection Officer (GS-1895) job series (determined applying the criteria in effect as of September 1, 2007) or any successor position and whose duties include activities relating to the arrival and departure of persons, conveyances, and merchandise at ports of entry. Also included in this definition is an employee engaged in this activity who is transferred directly to a supervisory or administrative position in the Department of Homeland Security after performing such duties in 1 or more positions within the GS-1895 job series (determined applying the criteria in effect as of September 1, 2007), or any successor position, for at least 3 years.

Employee means an employee as defined by 5 U.S.C. 8401(11).

First-level supervisors are employees classified as supervisors who have direct and regular contact with the employees they supervise. First-level supervisors do not have subordinate supervisors. A first-level supervisor may occupy a primary position or a secondary position if the appropriate definition is met.

Primary position means a position classified within the Customs and Border Protection Officer (GS-1895) job series (determined applying the criteria in effect as of September 1, 2007) or any successor position whose duties include the performance of work directly connected with activities relating to the arrival and departure of persons, conveyances, and merchandise at ports of entry.

Secondary position means a position within the Department of Homeland Security that is either—

(1) Supervisory; i.e., a position whose primary duties are as a first-level supervisor of customs and border protection officers in primary positions; or

(2) Administrative; i.e., an executive, managerial, technical, semiprofessional, or professional position for which experience in a primary customs and border protection officer position is a prerequisite.

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§842.1003   Conditions for coverage.

(a) Primary positions. (1) An employee's service in a position that has been determined by the employing agency head to be a primary customs and border protection officer position is covered under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8412(d).

(2) An employee who is not in a primary position, nor covered while in a secondary position, and who is detailed or temporarily promoted to a primary position is not covered under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8412(d) for any purpose under this subpart.

(3) A first-level supervisor position may be determined to be a primary position if it satisfies the conditions set forth in §842.1002.

(b) Secondary positions. An employee's service in a position that has been determined by the employing agency head to be a secondary position is covered under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8412(d) if all of the following criteria are met:

(1) The employee, while covered under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8412(d) as a customs and border protection officer, is transferred directly (i.e., without a break in service exceeding 3 days) from a primary position to a secondary position; and

(2) The employee has completed 3 years of service in a primary position, including service for which no FERS deductions were withheld; and

(3) If applicable, the employee has been continuously employed in secondary positions since transferring from a primary position without a break in service exceeding 3 days, except that a break in employment in secondary positions which begins with an involuntary separation (not for cause), within the meaning of 8414(b)(1)(A), is not considered in determining whether the service in secondary positions is continuous for this purpose.

(c) For the purpose of applying the criteria at paragraph (b)(1) through (3) of this section to evaluate transfers, service, and employment periods that occurred before September 1, 2007—

(1) A primary position, covered under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8412(d), is deemed to include:

(i) A position whose duties included the performance of work directly connected with activities relating to the arrival and departure of persons, conveyances, and merchandise at ports of entry that was classified within the Immigration Inspector Series (GS-1816), Customs Inspector Series (GS-1890), Canine Enforcement Officer Series (GS-1801), or any other series which the agency head determines were predecessor series to the Customs and Border Protection Series (GS-1895), and that would have been classified under the GS-1895 series had it then existed; and

(ii) A position within the Customs and Border Protection Series (GS-1895) whose duties included the performance of work directly connected with activities relating to the arrival and departure of persons, conveyances, and merchandise at ports of entry.

(2) A secondary position is deemed to include:

(i) A first-level supervisor of an employee in a position described at paragraph (c)(1)(i) or (c)(1)(ii) of this section; or

(ii) A executive, managerial, technical, semiprofessional, or professional position for which experience in a position described at paragraph (c)(1)(i) or (c)(1)(ii) of this section is a mandatory prerequisite.

(d) An employee who is not in a primary position, nor covered while in a secondary position, and who is detailed or temporarily promoted to a secondary position is not covered under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8412(d) for any purpose under this subpart.

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§842.1004   Evidence.

(a) The agency head's determination under §842.1003(a) that a position is a primary position must be based solely on the official position description of the position in question, and any other official description of duties and qualifications. The official documentation for the position must establish that it satisfies the requirements defined in §842.1002.

(b) A determination under §842.1003(b) must be based on the official position description and any other evidence deemed appropriate by the agency head for making the determination.

(c) If an employee is in a position not subject to the one-half percent higher withholding rate of 5 U.S.C. 8422(a)(3), and the employee does not, within 6 months of entering the position formally and in writing seek a determination from the employing agency that his or her service is properly covered by the higher withholding rate, the agency head's determination that the service was not so covered at the time of the service is presumed to be correct. This presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence that the employee was unaware of his or her status or was prevented by cause beyond his or her control from requesting that the official status be changed at the time the service was performed.

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§842.1005   Withholding and contributions.

(a) During service covered under the conditions established by §842.1003(a) or (c), the Department of Homeland Security will deduct and withhold from the employee's base pay the amounts required under 5 U.S.C. 8422(a) and submit that amount to OPM in accordance with payroll office instructions issued by OPM.

(b) During service described in paragraph (a) of this section, the Department of Homeland Security must submit to OPM the Government contributions required under 5 U.S.C. 8423(a) in accordance with payroll office instructions issued by OPM.

(c) If the correct withholdings and/or Government contributions are not timely submitted to OPM for any reason whatsoever, including cases in which it is finally determined that past service of a current or former employee was subject to the higher deduction and Government contribution rates, the Department of Homeland Security must correct the error by submitting the correct amounts (including both employee and agency shares) to OPM as soon as possible. Even if the Department of Homeland Security waives collection of the overpayment of pay under any waiver authority that may be available for this purpose, such as 5 U.S.C. 5584, or otherwise fails to collect the debt, the correct amount must still be submitted to OPM as soon as possible.

(d) Upon proper application from an employee, former employee or eligible survivor of a former employee, the Department of Homeland Security will pay a refund of erroneous additional withholdings for service that is found not to have been covered service. If an individual has paid to OPM a deposit or redeposit, including the additional amount required for covered service, and the deposit is later determined to be erroneous because the service was not covered service, OPM will pay the refund, upon proper application, to the individual, without interest.

(e) The additional employee withholding and agency contributions for covered service properly made are not separately refundable, even in the event that the employee or his or her survivor does not qualify for a special annuity computation under 5 U.S.C. 8415(d).

(f) While an employee who does not hold a primary or secondary position is detailed or temporarily promoted to such a position, the additional withholdings and agency contributions will not be made.

(g) While an employee who holds a primary or secondary position is detailed or temporarily promoted to a position that is not a primary or secondary position, the additional withholdings and agency contributions will continue to be made.

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§842.1006   Mandatory separation.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the mandatory separation provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8425 apply to customs and border protection officers, including those in secondary positions. A mandatory separation under 5 U.S.C. 8425 is not an adverse action under part 752 of this chapter or a removal action under part 359 of this chapter.

(b) Exemptions from mandatory separation are subject to the conditions set forth under 5 U.S.C. 8425. An exemption may be granted at the sole discretion of the head of the employing agency or by the President in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8425(c).

(c) In the event that an employee is separated mandatorily under 5 U.S.C. 8425, or is separated for optional retirement under 5 U.S.C. 8412(d) or (e), and OPM finds that all or part of the minimum service required for entitlement to immediate annuity was in a position that did not meet the requirements of a primary or secondary position and the conditions set forth in this subpart or, if applicable, in part 831 of this chapter, such separation will be considered erroneous.

(d) The customs and border protection officer mandatory separation provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8425 do not apply to an individual first appointed as a customs and border protection officer before July 6, 2008.

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§842.1007   Review of decisions.

(a) The final decision of the agency head denying an individual's request for approval of a position as a primary or secondary customs and border protection officer position made under §842.1003(a) may be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board under procedures prescribed by the Board.

(b) The final decision of the agency head denying an individual coverage while serving in an approved secondary position because of failure to meet the conditions in §842.1003(b) may be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board under procedures prescribed by the Board.

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§842.1008   Oversight of coverage determinations.

(a) Upon deciding that a position is a customs and border protection officer, the Department of Homeland Security must notify OPM (Attention: Associate Director, Retirement Services, or such other official as may be designated) stating the title of each position, the occupational series of the position, the number of incumbents, whether the position is primary or secondary, and, if the position is a primary position, the established maximum entry age, if one has been established. The Director of OPM retains the authority to revoke the agency head's determination that a position is a primary or secondary position.

(b) The Department of Homeland Security must establish and maintain a file containing all coverage determinations made by the agency head under §842.1003(a) and (b), and all background material used in making the determination.

(c) Upon request by OPM, the Department of Homeland Security will make available the entire coverage determination file for OPM to audit to ensure compliance with the provisions of this subpart.

(d) Upon request by OPM, the Department of Homeland Security must submit to OPM a list of all covered positions and any other pertinent information requested.

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§842.1009   Elections of retirement coverage, exclusions from retirement coverage, and proportional annuity computations.

(a) Election of coverage. (1) The Department of Homeland Security must provide an individual who is a customs and border protection officer on December 26, 2007, with the opportunity to elect not to be treated as a customs and border protection officer under section 535(a) and (b) of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2008, Public Law 110-161, 121 Stat. 2042.

(2) An election under this paragraph is valid only if made on or before June 22, 2008.

(3) An individual eligible to make an election under this paragraph who fails to make such an election on or before June 22, 2008, is deemed to have elected to be treated as a customs and border protection officer for retirement purposes.

(b) Exclusion from coverage. The provisions of this subpart and any other specific reference to customs and border protection officers in this part do not apply to employees who on December 25, 2007, were law enforcement officers, under subpart H of this part or subpart I of part 831, within U.S. Customs and Border Protection. These employees cannot elect to be treated as a customs and border protection officer under paragraph (a) of this section, nor can they be deemed to have made such an election.

(c) Proportional annuity computation. The annuity of an employee serving in a primary or secondary customs and border protection officer position on July 6, 2008, must, to the extent that its computation is based on service rendered as a customs and border protection officer on or after that date, be at least equal to the amount that would be payable—

(1) To the extent that such service is subject to the Civil Service Retirement System, by applying section 8339(d) of title 5, United States Code, with respect to such service; and

(2) To the extent such service is subject to the Federal Employees' Retirement System, by applying section 8415(d) of title 5, United States Code, with respect to such service.

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