5 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2010 Edition
Title 5 - GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES
PART III - EMPLOYEES
Subpart D - Pay and Allowances
CHAPTER 55 - PAY ADMINISTRATION
SUBCHAPTER II - WITHHOLDING PAY
Sec. 5514 - Installment deduction for indebtedness to the United States
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

§5514. Installment deduction for indebtedness to the United States

(a)(1) When the head of an agency or his designee determines that an employee, member of the Armed Forces or Reserve of the Armed Forces, is indebted to the United States for debts to which the United States is entitled to be repaid at the time of the determination by the head of an agency or his designee, or is notified of such a debt by the head of another agency or his designee the amount of indebtedness may be collected in monthly installments, or at officially established pay intervals, by deduction from the current pay account of the individual. The deductions may be made from basic pay, special pay, incentive pay, retired pay, retainer pay, or, in the case of an individual not entitled to basic pay, other authorized pay. The amount deducted for any period may not exceed 15 percent of disposable pay, except that a greater percentage may be deducted upon the written consent of the individual involved. If the individual retires or resigns, or if his employment or period of active duty otherwise ends, before collection of the amount of the indebtedness is completed, deduction shall be made from subsequent payments of any nature due the individual from the agency concerned. All Federal agencies to which debts are owed and which have outstanding delinquent debts shall participate in a computer match at least annually of their delinquent debt records with records of Federal employees to identify those employees who are delinquent in repayment of those debts. The preceding sentence shall not apply to any debt under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Matched Federal employee records shall include, but shall not be limited to, records of active Civil Service employees government-wide, military active duty personnel, military reservists, United States Postal Service employees, employees of other government corporations, and seasonal and temporary employees. The Secretary of the Treasury shall establish and maintain an interagency consortium to implement centralized salary offset computer matching, and promulgate regulations for this program. Agencies that perform centralized salary offset computer matching services under this subsection are authorized to charge a fee sufficient to cover the full cost for such services.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, prior to initiating any proceedings under paragraph (1) of this subsection to collect any indebtedness of an individual, the head of the agency holding the debt or his designee, shall provide the individual with—

(A) a minimum of thirty days written notice, informing such individual of the nature and amount of the indebtedness determined by such agency to be due, the intention of the agency to initiate proceedings to collect the debt through deductions from pay, and an explanation of the rights of the individual under this subsection;

(B) an opportunity to inspect and copy Government records relating to the debt;

(C) an opportunity to enter into a written agreement with the agency, under terms agreeable to the head of the agency or his designee, to establish a schedule for the repayment of the debt; and

(D) an opportunity for a hearing on the determination of the agency concerning the existence or the amount of the debt, and in the case of an individual whose repayment schedule is established other than by a written agreement pursuant to subparagraph (C), concerning the terms of the repayment schedule.


A hearing, described in subparagraph (D), shall be provided if the individual, on or before the fifteenth day following receipt of the notice described in subparagraph (A), and in accordance with such procedures as the head of the agency may prescribe, files a petition requesting such a hearing. The timely filing of a petition for hearing shall stay the commencement of collection proceedings. A hearing under subparagraph (D) may not be conducted by an individual under the supervision or control of the head of the agency, except that nothing in this sentence shall be construed to prohibit the appointment of an administrative law judge. The hearing official shall issue a final decision at the earliest practicable date, but not later than sixty days after the filing of the petition requesting the hearing.

(3) Paragraph (2) shall not apply to routine intra-agency adjustments of pay that are attributable to clerical or administrative errors or delays in processing pay documents that have occurred within the four pay periods preceding the adjustment and to any adjustment that amounts to $50 or less, if at the time of such adjustment, or as soon thereafter as practical, the individual is provided written notice of the nature and the amount of the adjustment and a point of contact for contesting such adjustment.

(4) The collection of any amount under this section shall be in accordance with the standards promulgated pursuant to sections 3711 and 3716–3718 of title 31 or in accordance with any other statutory authority for the collection of claims of the United States or any agency thereof.

(5) For purposes of this subsection—

(A) “disposable pay” means that part of pay of any individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of any amounts required by law to be withheld; and

(B) “agency” includes executive departments and agencies, the United States Postal Service, the Postal Regulatory Commission, any nonappropriated fund instrumentality described in section 2105(c) of this title, the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and any court, court administrative office, or instrumentality in the judicial or legislative branches of the Government, and government corporations.


(b)(1) The head of each agency shall prescribe regulations, subject to the approval of the President, to carry out this section and section 3530(d) of title 31. Regulations prescribed by the Secretaries of the military departments shall be uniform for the military services insofar as practicable.

(2) For purposes of section 7117(a) of this title, no regulation prescribed to carry out subsection (a)(2) of this section shall be considered to be a Government-wide rule or regulation.

(c) Subsection (a) of this section does not modify existing statutes which provide for forfeiture of pay or allowances. This section and section 3530(d) of title 31 do not repeal, modify, or amend section 4837(d) or 9837(d) of title 10 or section 1007(b), (c) of title 37.

(d) A levy pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall take precedence over other deductions under this section.

(e) An employee of a nonappropriated fund instrumentality described in section 2105(c) of this title is deemed an employee covered by this section.

(Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 477; Pub. L. 96–54, §2(a)(2), Aug. 14, 1979, 93 Stat. 381; Pub. L. 97–258, §3(a)(12), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1063; Pub. L. 97–365, §5, Oct. 25, 1982, 96 Stat. 1751; Pub. L. 97–452, §2(a)(2), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2478; Pub. L. 98–216, §3(a)(4), Feb. 14, 1984, 98 Stat. 6; Pub. L. 104–134, title III, §31001(h), Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321–363; Pub. L. 109–435, title VI, §604(b), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3241; Pub. L. 110–181, div. A, title VI, §652, Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 162.)

Historical and Revision Notes
DerivationU.S. CodeRevised Statutes and

Statutes at Large

5 U.S.C. 46d. July 15, 1954, ch. 509, §§1, 2, 4, 68 Stat. 482, 483.
5 U.S.C. 46e.

In subsection (a), the words “head of the agency concerned” are substituted for “Secretary of the department concerned or the head of the agency or independent establishment concerned, or one of their designees”. The words “an employee, a member of the armed forces, or a Reserve of the armed forces” are coextensive with and substituted for “an employee of the United States or any member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, or a reserve component thereof” in view of the definitions in sections 2101 and 2105. The words “basic compensation” are omitted as included in “basic pay”.

In subsection (b), the words “head of each agency” are substituted for “Each Secretary of a department, or head of an agency or independent establishment, as appropriate”. The words “Secretaries of the military departments” are substituted for “Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force” to conform to the definition of “military department” in section 102.

In subsection (c), the words “section 4837(d) or 9837(d) of title 10 or section 1007(b), (c) of title 37” are substituted for “the provisions of the Act of May 22, 1928 (ch. 676, 45 Stat. 698)” in section 4 of the Act of July 15, 1954, on authority of the Acts of Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, §49(b), 70A Stat. 640, and Sept. 7, 1962, Pub. L. 87–649, §12(b), 76 Stat. 497.

References in Text

The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsecs. (a)(1) and (d), is classified generally to Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (a)(5)(B). Pub. L. 110–181, §652(1), inserted “any nonappropriated fund instrumentality described in section 2105(c) of this title,” after “Commission,”.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 110–181, §652(2), added subsec. (e).

2006—Subsec. (a)(5)(B). Pub. L. 109–435 substituted “Postal Regulatory Commission” for “Postal Rate Commission”.

1996—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 104–134, §31001(h)(A)(i), inserted at end “All Federal agencies to which debts are owed and which have outstanding delinquent debts shall participate in a computer match at least annually of their delinquent debt records with records of Federal employees to identify those employees who are delinquent in repayment of those debts. The preceding sentence shall not apply to any debt under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Matched Federal employee records shall include, but shall not be limited to, records of active Civil Service employees government-wide, military active duty personnel, military reservists, United States Postal Service employees, employees of other government corporations, and seasonal and temporary employees. The Secretary of the Treasury shall establish and maintain an interagency consortium to implement centralized salary offset computer matching, and promulgate regulations for this program. Agencies that perform centralized salary offset computer matching services under this subsection are authorized to charge a fee sufficient to cover the full cost for such services.”

Subsec. (a)(3), (4). Pub. L. 104–134, §31001(h)(A)(ii), (iii), added par. (3) and redesignated former pars. (3) and (4) as (4) and (5), respectively.

Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 104–134, §31001(h)((A)(ii), redesignated par. (4) as (5).

Subsec. (a)(5)(B). Pub. L. 104–134, §31001(h)(A)(iv), amended subpar. (B) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (B) read as follows: “ ‘agency’ includes the United States Postal Service and the Postal Rate Commission.”

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104–134, §31001(h)(B), added subsec. (d).

1984—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–216 substituted “section 3530(d)” for “section 581d”.

1983—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 97–452 substituted “sections 3711 and 3716–3718 of title 31” for “the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 (31 U.S.C. 951 et seq.)”.

1982—Pub. L. 97–365, §5(c), substituted “indebtedness to the United States” for “indebtedness because of erroneous payment” in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–365, §5(a), designated existing provisions as par. (1), in par. (1) as so designated substituted provisions relating to debts to which the United States is entitled to be repaid for provisions which had related to an indebtedness to the United States because of an erroneous payment made by an agency to or on behalf of an individual, inserted provisions relating to the notification of a debt by the head of another agency or his designee, substituted provisions authorizing the deduction of not to exceed 15 percent of disposable pay for provisions which had authorized the deduction of not to exceed two-thirds of the pay from which the deduction was made, and added pars. (2), (3), and (4).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–365, §5(b), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Pub. L. 97–258 substituted “section 3530(d)” for “section 581d”.

1979—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 96–54 substituted “President” for “Director of the Bureau of the Budget”.

Effective Date of 1979 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–54 effective July 12, 1979, see section 2(b) of Pub. L. 96–54, set out as a note under section 305 of this title.

Short Title of 1982 Amendment

Section 1 of Pub. L. 97–365 provided: “That this Act [enacting sections 954 and 955 of former Title 31, Money and Finance, amending this section and section 552a of this title, section 1114 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, sections 6103 and 7213 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, section 2415 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, and sections 484, 951, and 952 of former Title 31, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and section 6103 of Title 26] may be cited as the ‘Debt Collection Act of 1982’.”

Delegation of Functions

Authority of President under subsec. (b) of this section to approve regulations prescribed by head of each agency to carry out this section and section 581d of Title 31, Money and Finance [31 U.S.C. 3530(d)], relating to installment deductions from pay for indebtedness because of erroneous payment, delegated to Office of Personnel Management, see section 8(1) of Ex. Ord. No. 11609, July 22, 1971, 36 F.R. 13747, set out as a note under section 301 of Title 3, The President.

Improvements in Debt Collection Procedures Under 1982 Amendments as Contained in Debt Collection Act of 1982 Inapplicable to Claims or Indebtedness Under Internal Revenue Code, Social Security Act, or Tariff Laws

Section 8(e) of Pub. L. 97–365, as amended by Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095, provided that: “Except as otherwise provided in section 4 or 7 or the foregoing provisions of this section [amending sections 6103 and 7213 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, and enacting provisions set out as notes under section 6103 of Title 26], nothing in this Act (or in the amendments made by this Act) [see Short Title of 1982 Amendment note above] shall apply to claims or indebtedness arising under, or amounts payable under, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [Title 26], the Social Security Act [section 301 et seq. of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare], or the tariff laws of the United States [Title 19, Customs Duties].”

Collection of Indebtedness of Employees of Federal Government Resulting From Action or Suit Brought Against Employee by United States

Pub. L. 97–276, §124, Oct. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 1195, provided that: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this joint resolution [Pub. L. 97–276], in the case of any employee of the Federal Government who is indebted to the United States, as determined by a court of the United States in an action or suit brought against such employee by the United States, the amount of the indebtedness may be collected in monthly installments, or at officially established regular pay period intervals, by deduction in reasonable amounts from the current pay account of the individual. The deductions may be made only from basic pay, special pay, incentive pay, or, in the case of an individual not entitled to basic pay, other authorized pay. Collection shall be made over a period not greater than the anticipated period of employment. The amount deducted for any period may not exceed one-fourth of the pay from which the deduction is made, unless the deduction of a greater amount is necessary to make the collection within the period of anticipated employment. If the individual retires or resigns, or if his employment otherwise ends, before collection of the amount of the indebtedness is completed, deduction shall be made from later payments of any nature due to the individual from the United States Treasury.”