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Merit Systems Protection Board has no Jurisdiction over Non-Beneficiaries of CSRS Benefits

Updated: Apr 17, 2018

On December 16, 2015, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued a decision specifying that the MSPB only has jurisdiction over individuals who have a right or an interest in funds under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).


OPM asserted was that the collection of the overpayment was a matter outside of the MSPB’s jurisdiction because it had withdrawn its reconsideration decision, the MSPB did not have jurisdiction over this claim. However, the MSPB vacated the initial decision and dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction on a different basis.

The CSRS provides that


“an administrative action or order affecting the rights or interests of an individual or of the United States…may be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board…”

See, 5 U.S.C. §8347(d)(1).  However, it was determined that Ms. Miller had no right to or interest in the funds under the CSRS, as she was not the annuitant or a designated survivor annuitant.  See 5 U.S.C. §8341, 8345(e), (j).  Although she received the funds via a check payable to her mother’s estate, she did not receive them directly, as a representative of the estate, or as a third party with rights under the federal retirement laws.  Therefore, the MSPB had no jurisdiction over the matter.


Although the MSPB’s regulations permit a substituted party to pursue the appeal of an appellant who dies or is unable to pursue the appeal, they do not provide for substitution of a party before the appeal is filed. See, 5 C.F.R. § 1201.35. The MSPB has applied this prohibition against an estate or survivor initiating an appeal in a range of claims, including retirement appeals. See, Glover v. Dept. of the Army, 94 MSPR 534 (2003), and Estate of Pyc v. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 73 MSPR 326, 328 (1997).   


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