United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 03, 2023

§ 7296.
Retirement of judges
(a)
For purposes of this section:
(1)
The term “Court” means the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
(2)
The term “judge” means a judge of the Court.
(b)
(1)
A judge who meets the age and service requirements set forth in the following table may retire:

 The judge has attained age:

And the years of service as a judge are at least

65

15   

66

14   

67

13   

68

12   

69

11   

70

10   

(2)
A judge who is not reappointed following the expiration of the term for which appointed may retire upon the completion of that term if the judge has served as a judge of the Court for 15 years or more.
(3)
A judge who becomes permanently disabled and as a result of that disability is unable to perform the duties of the office shall retire.
(c)
(1)
(A)
A judge who is appointed on or after the date of the enactment of the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 and who retires under subsection (b) and elects under subsection (d) to receive retired pay under this subsection shall (except as provided in paragraph (2)) receive retired pay as follows:
(i)
In the case of a judge who is a recall-eligible retired judge under section 7257 of this title, the retired pay of the judge shall (subject to section 7257(d)(2) of this title) be the rate of pay applicable to that judge at the time of retirement, as adjusted from time to time under subsection (f)(3).
(ii)
In the case of a judge other than a recall-eligible retired judge, the retired pay of the judge shall be the rate of pay applicable to that judge at the time of retirement.
(B)
A judge who retired before the date of the enactment of the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 and elected under subsection (d) to receive retired pay under this subsection, or a judge who retires under subsection (b) and elects under subsection (d) to receive retired pay under this subsection, shall (except as provided in paragraph (2)) receive retired pay as follows:
(i)
In the case of a judge who is a recall-eligible retired judge under section 7257 of this title
(ii)
In the case of a judge who at the time of retirement did not provide notice under section 7257 of this title of availability for service in a recalled status, the retired pay of the judge shall be the rate of pay applicable to that judge at the time of retirement.
(iii)
In the case of a judge who was a recall-eligible retired judge under section 7257 of this title and was removed from recall status under subsection (b)(3) of that section, the retired pay of the judge shall be the pay of the judge at the time of the removal from recall status.
(2)
An individual who serves as a judge for less than 10 years and who retires under subsection (b)(3) of this section and elects under subsection (d) of this section to receive retired pay under this subsection shall receive retired pay at a rate equal to one-half of the rate of pay in effect at the time of retirement.
(3)
Retired pay under this subsection shall begin to accrue on the day following the day on which the individual’s salary as judge ceases to accrue and shall continue to accrue during the remainder of the individual’s life. Retired pay under this subsection shall be paid in the same manner as the salary of a judge.
(d)
(1)
A judge may elect to receive retired pay under subsection (c) of this section. Such an election—
(A)
may be made only while an individual is a judge (except that, in the case of an individual who fails to be reappointed as judge at the expiration of a term of office, the election may be made at any time before the date after the day on which the individual’s successor takes office); and
(B)
may not be revoked after the retired pay begins to accrue.
(2)
In the case of a judge other than the chief judge, such an election shall be made by filing notice of the election in writing with the chief judge. In the case of the chief judge, such an election shall be made by filing notice of the election in writing with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management.
(3)
The chief judge shall transmit to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management a copy of each notice filed with the chief judge under this subsection.
(e)
If an individual for whom an election to receive retired pay under subsection (c) is in effect accepts compensation for employment with the United States, the individual shall, to the extent of the amount of that compensation, forfeit all rights to retired pay under subsection (c) of this section for the period for which the compensation is received.
(f)
(1)
Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the provisions of the civil service retirement laws (including the provisions relating to the deduction and withholding of amounts from basic pay, salary, and compensation) shall apply with respect to service as a judge as if this section had not been enacted.
(2)
In the case of any individual who has filed an election to receive retired pay under subsection (c) of this section—
(A)
no annuity or other payment shall be payable to any person under the civil service retirement laws with respect to any service performed by such individual (whether performed before or after such election is filed and whether performed as judge or otherwise) except as authorized by section 8440d of title 5;
(B)
no deduction for purposes of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund shall be made from retired pay payable to that individual under subsection (c) of this section or from any other salary, pay, or compensation payable to that individual, for any period beginning after the day on which such election is filed; and
(C)
such individual shall be paid the lump-sum credit computed under section 8331(8) or 8401(a) of title 5, whichever applies, upon making application therefor with the Office of Personnel Management.
(3)
(A)
A cost-of-living adjustment provided by law in annuities payable under civil service retirement laws shall apply to retired pay under this section only in the case of retired pay computed under paragraph (1)(A)(i) or (2) of subsection (c).
(B)
If such a cost-of-living adjustment would (but for this subparagraph) result in the retired pay of a retired judge being in excess of the annual rate of pay in effect for judges of the Court as provided in section 7253(e) of this title, such adjustment may be made only in such amount as results in the retired pay of the retired judge being equal to that annual rate of pay (as in effect on the effective date of such adjustment).
(g)
(1)
A judge who becomes permanently disabled and as a result of that disability is unable to perform the duties of the office shall certify to the President in writing that such permanent disability exists. If the chief judge retires for such a disability, the retirement of the chief judge shall not take effect until concurred in by the President. If any other judge retires for such a disability, the chief judge shall furnish to the President a certificate of disability signed by the chief judge.
(2)
Whenever the President finds that a judge has become permanently disabled and as a result of that disability is unable to perform the duties of the office, the President shall declare that judge to be retired. Before a judge may be retired under this paragraph, the judge shall be provided with a full specification of the reasons for the retirement and an opportunity to be heard.
(h)
(1)
An individual who has filed an election to receive retired pay under subsection (c) of this section may revoke such election at any time before the first day on which retired pay would (but for such revocation) begin to accrue with respect to such individual.
(2)
Any revocation under this subsection shall be made by filing a notice of the election in writing with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management. The Office of Personnel Management shall transmit to the chief judge a copy of each notice filed under this subsection.
(3)
In the case of a revocation under this subsection—
(A)
for purposes of this section, the individual shall be treated as not having filed an election to receive retired pay under subsection (c) of this section;
(B)
for purposes of section 7297 of this title
(i)
the individual shall be treated as not having filed an election under section 7297(b) of this title, and
(ii)
section 7297(e) of this title shall not apply and the amount credited to such individual’s account (together with interest at 3 percent per year, compounded on December 31 of each year to the date on which the revocation is filed) shall be returned to the individual;
(C)
no credit shall be allowed for any service as a judge of the Court unless with respect to such service either there has been deducted and withheld the amount required by the civil service retirement laws or there has been deposited in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund an amount equal to the amount so required, with interest;
(D)
the Court shall deposit in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund an amount equal to the additional amount it would have contributed to such Fund but for the election under subsection (d); and
(E)
if subparagraphs (C) and (D) of this paragraph are complied with, service on the Court shall be treated as service with respect to which deductions and contributions had been made during the period of service.
(i)
(1)
Beginning with the next pay period after the Director of the Office of Personnel Management receives a notice under subsection (d) of this section that a judge has elected to receive retired pay under this section, the Director shall deduct and withhold 1 percent of the salary of such judge. Amounts shall be so deducted and withheld in a manner determined by the Director. Amounts deducted and withheld under this subsection shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Judges Retirement Fund. Deductions under this subsection from the salary of a judge shall terminate upon the retirement of the judge or upon the completion of 15 years of service for which either deductions under this subsection or a deposit under subsection (j) of this section has been made, whichever occurs first.
(2)
Each judge who makes an election under subsection (d) of this section shall be considered to agree to the deductions from salary which are made under paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(j)
A judge who makes an election under subsection (d) of this section shall deposit, for service on the Court performed before the election for which contributions may be made under this section, an amount equal to 1 percent of the salary received for the first years, not exceeding 15 years, of that service. Retired pay may not be allowed until a deposit required by this subsection has been made.
(k)
The amounts deducted and withheld under subsection (i) of this section, and the amounts deposited under subsection (j) of this section, shall be deposited in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Retirement Fund for credit to individual accounts in the name of each judge from whom such amounts are received.
(Added Pub. L. 101–94, title I, § 101(a), Aug. 16, 1989, 103 Stat. 617, § 4096; renumbered § 7296 and amended Pub. L. 102–40, title IV, § 402(b)(1), (d)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238, 239; Pub. L. 102–82, § 5(c)(1), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 376; Pub. L. 102–198, § 7(c)(4)(D), Dec. 9, 1991, 105 Stat. 1625; Pub. L. 105–368, title V, § 512(a)(1), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3341; Pub. L. 106–117, title X, §§ 1022, 1035(2), Nov. 30, 1999, 113 Stat. 1592, 1595; Pub. L. 107–103, title VI, § 602, Dec. 27, 2001, 115 Stat. 999; Pub. L. 110–389, title VI, § 603(b)(1), (2), Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4177, 4178.)
cite as: 38 USC 7296