The Secretary of the Treasury’s Authority With Respect to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund

Headnotes: 

5 U.S.C. § 8348 empowers the Secretary of the Treasury to suspend the investment of additional contributions to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and redeem prior to maturity CSRDF investment assets in order to avoid exceeding the statutory debt limit.

In exercising his CSRDF redemption authority, the Secretary of the Treasury may, during a “debt issuance suspension period,” redeem CSRDF investment assets based on the total amount of civil service retirement and disability benefits authorized to be paid during the period.

The Secretary of the Treasury has discretion to designate the length of a debt issuance suspension period based on factors, identified by the Secretary, that are reasonably relevant to his determination.

The suspension during a debt limit crisis of CSRDF investment and the redemption of CSRDF investment assets would not cause a violation of the public debt limit.

Updated July 9, 2014