Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.
In 1999, I switched from CSRS to FERS. It was a good deal for me at the time because I was facing a possible RIF and had over 10 years remaining of government service, where I could take my federal Social Security with me into another private career. I have almost 30 years of service and will be eligible for retirement in 10 years. If Congress passes the elimination of the FERS Annuity Supplement, is that a breach of contract or otherwise illegal? Why would they do this and not Grandfather older career employees?
The FERS Annuity Supplement is not a contract, it is a statute. Theoretically, Congress could eliminate all annuity payments. It does not do this, because such action is unwise as it will have an adverse impact on recruiting and retaining a capable federal workforce.
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.
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