[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 126 (Friday, June 29, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 30589-30590]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-14032]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 126 / Friday, June 29, 2018 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 30589]]



OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Part 870

RIN 3206-AN52


Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program: Clarifying 
Annual Rates of Pay and Amending the Employment Status of Judges of the 
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

AGENCY: Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a proposed 
rule to amend the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) 
regulations to clarify the definition of annual rates of pay for 
insured employees and to clarify the status of judges of the United 
States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

DATES: Comments are due on or before August 28, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Ronald Brown, Policy Analyst, 
Healthcare and Insurance, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Room 
4316, 1900 E Street NW, Washington, DC. You may also submit comments 
identified by the RIN number stated above using the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal (http://www.regulations.gov). Follow the instructions for 
submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ronald Brown, Policy Analyst, (202) 
606-2128, or by email to [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) is 
administered by the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) 
in accordance with Chapter 87 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code and our 
implementing regulations (title 5, part 87, and title 48, part 21, of 
the Code of Federal Regulations). The FEGLI enabling legislation was 
signed August 17, 1954. As of September 30, 2017, FEGLI covers an 
estimated 4,231,000 employees and annuitants enrolled in Basic 
insurance, including 1,144,000 employees and annuitants with Option B 
insurance that has not reduced to zero, 1,187,000 employees and 
annuitants enrolled in Option A insurance, and 933,000 employees and 
annuitants enrolled in Option C insurance that has not reduced to zero.
    The FEGLI statute establishes the basic rules for benefits, 
enrollment, and participation, and provides that OPM ``shall specify 
the types of pay included in annual pay.'' See 5 U.S.C. 8704(c). In 
accordance, OPM has promulgated regulations defining the ``basic 
insurance amount'' for all Program enrollees. Further, the ``basic 
insurance amount'' is defined by law using the term ``annual rate of 
basic pay.'' See 5 U.S.C. 8701(c). For Program purposes, the basic 
insurance amount applies to Basic and Option B insurance.
    This proposed rule clarifies what is considered annual basic pay 
for FEGLI Program purposes, but does not change how the annual rate of 
basic pay is computed, provide additional enrollment or change 
opportunities, or make other changes not in the existing Program 
regulations. The proposed rule makes this clear in the revised sections 
of part 870 by aligning the Program and retirement regulations, and, in 
the process, eliminating certain outdated regulatory provisions on 
basic pay.

Discussion of Proposed Changes

    OPM is issuing a proposed regulation to clarify that (1) annual 
basic pay for FEGLI includes any type of pay treated as basic pay for 
purposes of the retirement systems established under 5 U.S.C. chapters 
83 and 84 consistent with applicable law or OPM regulation, and (2) 
basic pay for FEGLI purposes does not include bonuses, allowances, 
overtime pay, or any other pay to a covered civilian employee given in 
addition to the base pay of the position except as otherwise provided 
by specific provision of law or OPM regulation.
    The proposed rule changes existing paragraphs 5 CFR 870.204(a)(1) 
and (a)(2) to clarify that basic pay for FEGLI purposes includes all 
payments that are retirement-creditable basic pay under 5 U.S.C. 
chapters 83 and 84. The proposed rule also deletes paragraphs that are 
obsolete or creditable by other provisions of law or covered as 
exceptions to existing law. This includes a revised paragraph on 
locality pay, special pay supplements, and customs officer pay.
    The proposed regulation updates FEGLI regulations to state that (1) 
judges of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, 
formerly judges of the United States Court of Veterans Appeals, are 
covered under applicable provisions of 5 U.S.C. chapter 87, and (2) any 
such judge who is in regular active service and a judge who is retired 
under chapter 72 of title 38 or under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5 shall 
be treated as an employee under FEGLI law and regulation.
    The proposed regulation updates 5 CFR 870.101 with the correct 
title of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and 
updates paragraph 5 CFR 870.101 with the correct title of the United 
States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The proposed regulation 
also updates paragraph 5 CFR 870.703(e)(1) to state that a judge of the 
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims who is in regular 
active service and a judge who is retired under 38 U.S.C. 7296 is 
considered an employee under the FEGLI Program as required by Public 
Law 114-315.
    Regulatory Impact Analysis: OPM has examined the impact of this 
proposed rule as required by Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 
13563, which directs agencies to assess all costs and benefits of 
available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to 
select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including 
potential economic, environmental, public, health, and safety effects, 
distributive impacts, and equity). A regulatory impact analysis must be 
prepared for major rules with economically significant effects of $100 
million or more in any one year. This rule is not considered a major 
rule because the regulation only clarifies the definition of basic pay, 
but does not make substantive changes to its computation. This rule 
only affects the life insurance of a small number of federal employees 
and annuitants that are or have served as judges for the United States 
Court of Appeals for Veteran's Claims. As the Court is authorized seven 
permanent, active Judges, and two additional Judges as part of a 
temporary expansion

[[Page 30590]]

provision, who are appointed for 15-year terms, OPM estimates the 
number of affected employees is de minimus.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) (RFA) 
establishes ``as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall 
endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable 
statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale 
of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions 
subject to regulation.'' To achieve this principle, agencies are 
required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to 
explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals 
are given serious consideration.'' The RFA covers a wide range of small 
entities, including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and 
small governmental jurisdictions.
    Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must 
prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA. I 
certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities because the regulation 
only affects a small number of Federal employees and annuitants.

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Review

    This proposed rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management 
and Budget in accordance with Executive Orders 13563 and 12866.

Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory 
Costs

    This proposed rule is not expected to be an E.O. 13771 regulatory 
action because this proposed rule is not significant under Executive 
Order 12866. The proposed rule makes minimal changes to coverage for 
certain judges, and clarifies that annual basic pay for FEGLI includes 
any type of pay treated as basic pay for purposes of the retirement 
systems established under 5 U.S.C. chapters 83 and 84 consistent with 
applicable law or OPM regulation.
    This proposed rule is not subject to the requirements of E.O. 13771 
(82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017) because it is related to agency 
organization, management, or personnel and affects only a small number 
of federal employees and annuitants.

Federalism

    We have examined this rule in accordance with Executive Order 
13132, Federalism, and have determined that this rule will not have any 
negative impact on the rights, roles and responsibilities of State, 
local, or tribal governments.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3507(d); see 
5 CFR part 1320) requires that the U.S. Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) approve all collections of information by a Federal agency from 
the public before they can be implemented. Respondents are not required 
to respond to any collection of information unless it displays a 
current valid OMB control number. OPM is not proposing any additional 
collections in this rule. This rule does not affect any existing 
collections.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 870

    Administrative practice and procedure, Government employees, 
Hostages, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Life Insurance, Retirement.

Office of Personnel Management.
Jeff T.H. Pon,
Director.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, OPM is proposing to amend 
part 870 of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 870--FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE PROGRAM

0
1. The authority citation for Part 870 continues to read:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 8716; Subpart J also issued under section 
599C of Pub. L. 101-513, 104 Stat. 2064, as amended; Sec. 
870.302(a)(3)(ii) also issued under section 153 of Pub. L. 104-134, 
110 Stat. 1321; Sec. 870.302(a)(3) also issued under sections 
11202(f), 11232(e), and 11246(b) and (c) of Pub. L. 105-33, 111 
Stat. 251, and section 7(e) of Pub. L. 105-274, 112 Stat. 2419; Sec. 
870.302(a)(3) also issued under section 145 of Pub. L. 106-522, 114 
Stat. 2472; Secs. 870.302(b)(8), 870.601(a), and 870.602(b) also 
issued under Pub. L. 110-279, 122 Stat. 2604; Subpart E also issued 
under 5 U.S.C. 8702(c); Sec. 870.601(d)(3) also issued under 5 
U.S.C. 8706(d); Sec. 870.703(e)(1) also issued under section 502 of 
Pub. L. 110-177, 121 Stat. Start Printed Page 773662542; Sec. 
870.705 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8714b(c) and 8714c(c); Public Law 
104-106, 110 Stat. 521.

0
2. Amend Sec.  870.101 by revising the definition of Employing Office, 
to read as follows:


Sec.  870.101   Definitions.

    Employing Office
* * * * *
    (4) The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is the 
employing office for judges of the United States Court of Appeals for 
Veterans Claims.
* * * * *
0
3. Amend Sec.  870.204 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  870.204  Annual rates of pay.

    (a)(1) An employee's annual pay is the annual basic pay of the 
position as fixed by law or regulation, except as otherwise provided by 
specific provision of law or OPM regulation. Annual pay for this 
purpose includes the following:
    (i) Any pay of a type that is treated as basic pay for purposes of 
the retirement systems established under 5 U.S.C. chapters 83 and 84, 
consistent with 5 U.S.C. 8331(3);
    (ii) Any geographic-based pay supplement that is equivalent to a 
locality-based comparability payment under 5 U.S.C. 5304; and
    (iii) Any special pay supplement for a defined subcategory of 
employees that is equivalent to a special rate supplement under 5 
U.S.C. 5305.
    (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1) of this section, annual basic 
pay does not include the following:
    (i) Bonuses, allowances, overtime pay, or any other pay to a 
covered civilian employee given in addition to the base pay of the 
position, except as otherwise provided by specific provision of law or 
OPM regulation.
    (ii) Physicians comparability allowances under 5 U.S.C. 5948.
* * * * *
0
4. Amend Sec.  870.703 by adding paragraph (e)(1)(vii) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  870.703   Election of Basic insurance.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (vii) 38 U.S.C. 7296.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2018-14032 Filed 6-28-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6325-63-P