P.L. 96–465, Approved October 17, 1980 (94 Stat. 2071)

Foreign Service Act of 1980

Title I—THE FOREIGN SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES

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Chapter 8—Foreign Service Retirement and Disability

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SUBCHAPTER II—FOREIGN SERVICE PENSION SYSTEM

Sec. 851. [22 U.S.C. 4071]  Establishment.—

(a)  There is hereby established a Foreign Service Pension System.

(b)  Except as otherwise specifically provided in this subchapter or any other provision of law, the provisions of chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code, shall apply to all participants in the Foreign Service Pension System and such participants shall be treated in all respects similar to persons whose participation in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System provided in that chapter is required.

Sec. 852. [22 U.S.C. 4071a]  Definitions.—As used in this subchapter, unless otherwise specified—

(1)  the term “court order” has the same meaning given in section 804(4);

(2)  the term “Fund” means the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability Fund maintained by the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to section 802;

(3)  the term “lump-sum credit” means the unrefunded amount consisting of—

(A)  retirement deductions made from the basic pay of a participant under section 856 of this chapter (or under section 204 of the Federal Employees’ Retirement Contribution Temporary Adjustment Act of 1983);

(B)  amounts deposited by a participant under section 854 to obtain credit under this System for prior civilian or military service; and

(C)  interest on the deductions and deposits which, for any calendar year, shall be equal to the overall average yield to the Fund during the preceding fiscal year from all obligations purchased by the Secretary of the Treasury during such fiscal year under section 819, as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury (compounded annually); but does not include interest—

(i)  if the service covered thereby aggregates 1 year or less; or

(ii)  for a fractional part of a month in the total service;

(4)  the term “normal cost” means the entry-age normal cost of the provisions of the System which relate to the Fund, computed by the Secretary of State in accordance with generally accepted actuarial practice and standards (using dynamic assumptions) and expressed as a level percentage of aggregate basic pay;

(5)  the term “participant” means a person who participates in the Foreign Service Pension System;

(6)  the term “pro rata share” in the case of any former spouse of any participant or former participant means the percentage which is equal to the percentage that (A) the number of years during which the former spouse was married to the participant during the service of the participant which is creditable under this chapter is of (B) the total number of years of such service, disregarding extra credit under section 817;

(7)  the term “supplemental liability” means the estimated excess of—

(A)  the actuarial present value of all future benefits payable from the Fund under this subchapter based on the service of participants or former participants, over

(B)  the sum of—

(i)  the actuarial present value of (I) deductions to be withheld from the future basic pay of participants pursuant to section 856 and (II) contributions for past civilian and military service;

(ii)  the actuarial present value of future contributions to be made pursuant to section 857;

(iii)  the Fund balance as of the date the supplemental liability is determined, to the extent that such balance is attributable—

(I)  to the System, or

(II)  to the contributions made under the Federal Employees’ Retirement Contribution Temporary Adjustment Act of 1983 (5 U.S.C. 8331 note); and

(iv)  any other appropriate amount, as determined by the Secretary of State in accordance with generally accepted actuarial practices and principles; and

(8)  the term “System” means the Foreign Service Pension System.

Sec. 853. [22 U.S.C. 4071b]  Participants.—

(a)  Except for persons excluded by subsection (b), (c), or (d), all members of the Foreign Service, any of whose service after December 31, 1983, is employment for the purpose of title II of the Social Security Act and chapter 21 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954[164], who would, but for this section, be participants in the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability System pursuant to section 803 shall instead be participants in the Foreign Service Pension System.

(b)  Members of the Service who were participants in the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability System on or before December 31, 1983, and who have not had a break in service in excess of one year since that date, are not made participants in the System by this section, without regard to whether they are subject to title II of the Social Security Act.

(c)  Individuals who become members of the Service after having completed at least 5 years of civilian service creditable under subchapter I, subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code (the Civil Service Retirement System), or title II of the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement Act (50 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) (determined without regard to any deposit or redeposit requirement under any such subchapter or title, any requirement that the individual become subject to such subchapter or title after performing the service involved, or any requirement that the individual give notice in writing to the official by whom such individual is paid of such individual’s desire to become subject to such subchapter or title) are not participants in the System, except to the extent provided for under title III of the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986 pursuant to an election under such title to become subject to this subchapter (under regulations issued by the Secretary of State pursuant to section 860).

(d)  The Secretary may exclude from the operation of this subchapter any member of the Foreign Service, or group of members, whose employment is temporary or intermittent, except a member whose employment is part-time career appointment or career candidate appointment under section 306.

Sec. 854. [22 U.S.C. 4071c]  Creditable Service.—

(a)  For purposes of this subchapter, creditable service of a participant includes—

(1)  service as a participant after December 31, 1986;

(2)  service with respect to which deductions and withholdings under section 204(a)(2) of the Federal Employees’ Retirement Contribution Temporary Adjustment Act of 1983 have been made; and

(3)  except as provided in subsection (b), any civilian service performed before January 1, 1989 (other than service under paragraph (1) or (2)), which, but for the amendment made by section 414 of the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986, would be creditable under subchapter I (determined without regard to any deposit or redeposit requirement under such subchapter, subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code (the Civil Service Retirement System), or title II of the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement Act (50 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), any requirement that the individual become subject to such subchapter or title after performing the service involved, or any requirement that the individual give notice in writing to the official by whom such individual is paid of such individual’s desire to become subject to such subchapter or title).

(b)(1)  A participant who has received a refund of retirement deductions under subchapter I with respect to any service described in subsection (a)(3) may not be allowed credit for such service under this subchapter unless such participant deposits into the Fund an amount equal to 1.3 percent of basic pay for such service, with interest.

(2)  A participant may not be allowed credit under this subchapter for any service described in subsection (a)(3) for which retirement deductions under subchapter I have not been made, unless such participant deposits into the Fund an amount equal to 1.3 percent of basic pay for such service, with interest.

(3)  Interest under paragraph (1) or (2) shall be computed in accordance with section 805(d) and regulations issued by the Secretary of State.

(c)(1)  Credit shall be given under this System to a participant for a period of prior satisfactory service as—

(A)  a volunteer or volunteer leader under the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2501 et seq.),

(B)  a volunteer under part A of title VIII of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, or

(C)  a full-time volunteer for a period of service of at least one year’s duration under part A, B, or C of title I of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4951 et seq.),

if the participant makes a payment to the Fund equal to 3 percent of pay received for the volunteer service; except, the amount to be paid for volunteer service beginning on January 1, 1999, through December 31, 2000, shall be as follows:

 

3.25.....January 1, 1999, to December 31, 1999.

3.4.......January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2000.

(2)  The amount of such payments shall be determined in accordance with regulations of the Secretary of State consistent with regulations for making corresponding determinations under chapter 83, title 5, United States Code, together with interest determined under regulations issued by the Secretary of State.

(d)  Credit shall be given under this System to a participant for a period of prior service under the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (described in chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code) or under title III of the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement Act (50 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.) if the participant waives credit under the other retirement system and makes a payment to the Fund equal to the amount which was deducted and withheld from the individual’s basic pay under the other retirement system during the prior creditable service under the other retirement system together with interest on such amount computed in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary of State.

(e)  A participant who, while on approved leave without pay, serves as a full-time paid employee of a Member or office of the Congress shall continue to make contributions to the Fund based upon the Foreign Service salary rate that would be in effect if the participant were in a pay status. The participant’s employing Member or office in the Congress shall make a contribution (from the appropriation or fund which is used for payment of the salary of the participant) determined under section 857(a) to the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the Fund. All periods of service for which full contributions to the Fund are made under this subsection shall be counted as creditable service for purposes of this subchapter and shall not, unless all retirement credit is transferred, be counted as creditable service under any other Government retirement system.

Sec. 855. [22 U.S.C. 4071d]  Entitlement to Annuity.—

(a)(1)  Any participant may be retired under the conditions specified in section 811 and shall be retired under the conditions specified in sections 812 and 813 and receive benefits under this subchapter.

(2)  For the purposes of this subsection—

(A)  the term “participant”, as used in the sections referred to in paragraph (1), means a participant in the Foreign Service Pension System; and

(B)  the term “System”, as used in those sections, means the Foreign Service Pension System.

(3)  For purposes of any annuity computation under this subsection, the average pay (as used in section 8414 of title 5, United States Code) of any member of the Service whose official duty station is outside the continental United States shall be considered to be the salary that would have been paid to the member had the member’s official duty station been Washington, D.C., including locality-based comparability payments under section 5304 of title 5, United States Code, that would have been payable to the member if the member’s official duty station had been Washington, D.C.

(b)(1)  Any participant who retires voluntarily or mandatorily under section 607, 608, 811, 812, or 813 under conditions authorizing an immediate annuity for participants in the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability System and who has completed at least 5 years as a member of the Foreign Service shall be entitled to an immediate annuity computed under paragraph (2).

(2)  An annuity under paragraph (1) shall be computed—

(A)  in accordance with section 8415(d)(1) of title 5, United States Code, for all service while a participant in this System and for prior service creditable under this subchapter not otherwise counted as—

(i)  a member of the Service,

(ii)  an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency entitled to retirement credit under title II of the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement Act of (50 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) or under section 302(a) or 303(b) of that Act (50 U.S.C. 2152(a), 2153(b)), or

(iii)  a participant as a Member of Congress, a congressional employee, law enforcement officer, firefighter, or air traffic controller in the Civil Service Retirement System under subchapter III of chapter 83, title 5, United States Code, or in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System under chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code; and

(B)  at the rate stated in section 8415(a) of title 5, United States Code, for all other service creditable under this System including service in excess of 20 years otherwise creditable under paragraph (A).

(3)  Any participant who is involuntarily retired or separated under section 607, 608, or 610 and who would if a participant under subchapter I, become eligible for a refund of contributions or a deferred annuity under subchapter I, shall, in lieu thereof, receive benefits for an involuntary separation under this subchapter.

(4)  A disability annuity under this subchapter required to be redetermined under section 8452(b) of title 5, United States Code, or computed under section 8452 (c) or (d) of such title 5, shall be recomputed or computed using the formula in subsection (b)(2)(A) of this section rather than section 8415 of such title 5 (as stated in section 8452(b)(2)(A) and 8452(c) and (d) of such title). Such annuity shall also be computed in accordance with the preceding sentence if, as of the day on which such annuity commences or is restored, the annuitant satisfies the age and service requirements for entitlement to an immediate annuity under section 811 of this Act.

(5)  A former participant entitled to a deferred annuity under section 8413(b) of title 5, United States Code, shall not be subject to section 8415(f)(1) of such title 5 if the former participant has 20 years of service creditable under this subchapter and is at least 50 years of age as of the date on which the annuity is to commence.

(6)(A)  The amount of a survivor annuity for a widow or widower of a participant or former participant shall be 50 percent of an annuity computed for the deceased under this subchapter rather than under section 8415 of such title 5 (as stated in sections 8442(a)(1), (b)(1)(B), and (c)(2) of such title).

(B)  Any calculation for a widow or widower of a participant or former participant under section 8442(f)(2)(A) shall be based on an “assumed FSRDS annuity” rather than an “assumed CSRS annuity” as stated in such section. For the purpose of this subparagraph, the term “assumed FSRDS annuity” means the amount of the survivor annuity to which the widow or widower would be entitled under subchapter I based on the service of the deceased annuitant determined under section 8442(f)(5) of such title 5.

(c)  A participant who is entitled to an immediate annuity under subsection (b) shall be entitled to receive an annuity supplement while the annuitant is under 62 years of age. The annuity supplement shall be based on the total creditable service of the annuitant and shall be computed in accordance with sections 8421(b) and 8421a of title 5, United States Code, as if the participant were a law enforcement officer retired under section 8412(d) of such title.

(d)  Any participant who is separated for cause under section 610 shall not be entitled to an annuity under this System when the Secretary determines that the separation was based in whole or in part on disloyalty to the United States.

Sec. 856. [22 U.S.C. 4071e]  Deductions and Withholdings From Pay.—

(a)(1)  The employing agency shall deduct and withhold from the basic pay of each participant the applicable percentage of basic pay specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection minus the percentage then in effect under section 3101(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 3101(a)) (relating to the rate of tax for old age, survivors, and disability insurance).

(2)  The applicable percentage under this subsection shall be as follows:

7.5 Before January 1, 1999.
7.75 January 1, 1999 to December 31, 1999.
7.9 January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2000.
7.55 After January 11, 2003.

(b)  Each participant is deemed to consent and agree to the deductions under subsection (a). Notwithstanding any law or regulation affecting the pay of a participant, payment less such deductions is a full and complete discharge and acquittance of all claims and demands for regular services during the period covered by the payment, except the right to any benefits under this subchapter based on the service of the participant.

(c)  Amounts deducted and withheld under this section shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the Fund under such procedures as the Comptroller General of the United States may prescribe.

(d)  Under such regulations as the Secretary of State may issue, amounts deducted under subsection (a) shall be entered on individual retirement records.

Sec. 857. [22 U.S.C. 4071f]  Government Contributions.—

(a) Each agency employing any participant shall contribute to the Fund the amount computed in a manner similar to that used under section 8423(a) of title 5, United States Code, pursuant to determinations of the normal cost percentage for the Foreign Service Pension System by the Secretary of State.

(b)(1)  The Secretary of State shall compute the amount of the supplemental liability of the Fund as of the close of each fiscal year beginning after September 30, 1987. The amount of any such supplemental liability shall be amortized in 30 equal annual installments with interest computed at the rate used in the most recent valuation of the System.

(2)  At the end of each fiscal year, the Secretary of State shall notify the Secretary of the Treasury of the amount of the installment computed under this subsection for such year.

(3)  Before closing the accounts for a fiscal year, the Secretary of the Treasury shall credit to the Fund, as a Government contribution, out of any money in the Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated, the amount under paragraph (2) of this subsection for such year.

Sec. 858. [22 U.S.C. 4071g]  Cost-of-Living Adjustments.—

Cost-of-living adjustments for annuitants under this System shall be granted under procedures in section 8462 of title 5, United States Code, in the same manner as such adjustments are made for annuitants referred to in subsection (c)(3)(B)(ii) of such section.

Sec. 859. [22 U.S.C. 4071h]  General and Administrative Provisions.—(a) The Secretary of State shall administer the Foreign Service Pension System except for matters relating to the Thrift Savings Plan provided in subchapters III and VII of chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code. The Secretary of State shall, with respect to the Foreign Service Pension System, perform the functions and exercise the authority vested in the Office of Personnel Management or the Director of such Office by such chapter 84 and may issue regulations for such purposes.

(b)  Determinations of the Secretary of State under the Foreign Service Pension System which, if made by the Office of Personnel Management under chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code, or the Director of such Office, would be appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board shall, instead, be appealable to the Foreign Service Grievance Board, except that determinations of disability for participants shall be based upon the standards in section 808 (other than the exclusion for vicious habits, intemperance, or willful misconduct) and subject to review in the same manner as under that section.

(c)  At least every 5 years, the Secretary of the Treasury shall prepare periodic valuations of the Foreign Service Pension System and shall advise the Secretary of State of (1) the normal cost of the System, (2) the supplemental liability of the System, and (3) the amounts necessary to finance the costs of the System.

Sec. 860. [22 U.S.C. 4071i]  Transition Provisions.—The Secretary of State shall issue regulations providing for the transition from the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability System to the Foreign Service Pension System in a manner comparable to the transition of employees subject to subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code (the Civil Service Retirement System), to the Federal Employees’ Retirement System. For this and related purposes, references made to participation in subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code (the Civil Service Retirement System), the Social Security Act, and the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 shall be deemed to refer to participation in the Foreign Service Pension System or the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability System, as appropriate.

Sec. 861. [22 U.S.C. 4071j]  Former Spouses.—

(a)(1)(A)  Unless otherwise expressly provided by any spousal agreement or court order governing disposition of benefits under this subchapter, a former spouse of a participant or former participant is entitled, during the period described in subparagraph (B), to a share (determined under paragraph (2)) of all benefits otherwise payable to such participant under this subchapter if such former spouse was married to the participant for at least 10 years during service of the participant which is creditable under this chapter with at least 5 of such years occurring while the participant was a member of the Foreign Service.

(B)  The period referred to in subparagraph (A) is the period which begins on the first day of the month following the month in which the divorce or annulment becomes final and ends on the last day of the month before the former spouse dies or remarries before 55 years of age.

(2)  The share referred to in paragraph (1) equals—

(A)  50 percent, if such former spouse was married to the participant throughout the actual years of service of the participant which are creditable under this chapter; or

(B)  a pro rata share of 50 percent, if such former spouse was not married to the participant throughout such creditable service.

(3)  A former spouse shall not be qualified for any benefit under this subsection if, before the commencement of any benefit, the former spouse remarries before becoming 55 years of age.

(4)(A)  For purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, payments to a former spouse under this section shall be treated as income to the former spouse and not to the participant.

(B)  Any reduction in payments to a participant or former participant as a result of payments to a former spouse under this subsection shall be disregarded in calculating—

(i)  the survivor annuity for any spouse, former spouse, or other survivor under this subchapter, and

(ii)  any reduction in the annuity of the participant to provide survivor benefits under this subchapter.

(5)  Notwithstanding subsection (a)(1), in the case of any former spouse of a disability annuitant—

(A)  the annuity of the former spouse shall commence on the date the participant would qualify, on the basis of his or her creditable service, for an annuity under this chapter (other than a disability annuity) or the date the disability annuity begins, whichever is later, and

(B)  the amount of the annuity of the former spouse shall be calculated on the basis of the annuity for which the participant would otherwise so qualify.

(6)(A)  Except as provided in subparagraph (B), any former spouse who becomes entitled to receive any benefit under this subchapter which would otherwise be payable to a participant or former participant shall be entitled to make any election regarding method of payment to such former spouse that such participant would have otherwise been entitled to elect, and the participant may elect an alternate method for the remaining share of such benefits. Such elections shall not increase the actuarial present value of benefits expected to be paid under this subchapter.

(B)  A former spouse may not elect a method of payment under subchapter II, chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code, providing for payment of a survivor annuity to any survivor of the former spouse.

(7)  The maximum amount payable to any former spouse pursuant to this subsection shall be the difference, if any, between 50 percent of the total benefits authorized to be paid to a former participant by this subchapter, disregarding any apportionment of these benefits to others, and the aggregate amount payable to all others at any one time.

(b)(1)  Unless otherwise expressly provided for by any spousal agreement or court order governing survivorship benefits under this subchapter to a former spouse married to a participant or former participant for the periods specified in subsection (a)(1)(A), such former spouse is entitled to a share, determined under subsection (b)(2), of all survivor benefits that would otherwise be payable under this subchapter to an eligible surviving spouse of the participant.

(2)  The share referred to in subsection (b)(1) equals—

(A)  100 percent if such former spouse was married to the participant throughout the entire period of service of the participant which is creditable under this chapter; or

(B)  a pro rata share of 100 percent if such former spouse was not married to the participant throughout such creditable service.

(3)  A former spouse shall not be qualified for any benefit under this subsection if, before the commencement of any benefit, the former spouse remarries before becoming 55 years of age.

(c)  A participant or former participant may not make any election or modification of election under section 8417, 8418, or 8433 of title 5, United States Code, or other section relating to the participant’s account in the Thrift Savings Plan or annuity under the basic plan that would diminish the entitlement of a former spouse to any benefit granted to the former spouse by this section or in a current spousal agreement.

(d)  If a member becomes a participant under this subchapter after qualifying for benefits under subchapter I and, at the time of transfer, has a former spouse entitled to benefits under subchapter I which are determined under section 814 or 815 (as determined by the Secretary of State) and are similar in amount to a pro rata share division under section 814 or 815 and the service of the member as a participant under this subchapter is not recognized in determining that pro rata share, then subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall not apply to such former spouse. Otherwise, subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall apply.

(e)  If a participant dies after completing at least 18 months of service or a former participant dies entitled to a deferred annuity, but before becoming eligible to receive the annuity, and such participant or former participant has left with the Secretary of State a spousal agreement promising a share of a survivor annuity under subchapter IV, chapter 84, title 5, United States Code, to a former spouse, such survivor annuity shall be paid under the terms of this subchapter as if the survivor annuity had been ordered by a court.

Sec. 862. [22 U.S.C. 4071k]  Spousal Agreements.—A spousal agreement is any written agreement (properly authenticated as determined by the Secretary of State) between a participant or former participant and his or her spouse or former spouse on file with the Secretary of State. A spousal agreement shall be consistent with the terms of this Act and applicable regulations and, if executed at the time a participant or former participant is currently married, shall be approved by such current spouse. It may be used to fix the level of benefits payable under this subchapter to a spouse or former spouse.

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[Internal References.—SSAct §§202(k) and 210(a) cite the Foreign Service Act of 1980.]



[164]  P.L. 99-514, §2, provides that any reference to the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 shall include a reference to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.