# 2015-001 - Post Living Differential (PLD), Real Estate and Legal Fees

Post Living Differential (PLD), Real Estate and Legal Fees

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–03–23

Upon his transfer from the Reserve to the Regular Force, the grievor received an immediate posting to another place of duty. At that time, he was single and without dependents and was in the midst of training and final preparations for deployment to Afghanistan in the ensuing weeks, which made it impossible for him to relocate in the short term. On his return from leave following his deployment, he decided not to divest himself of his residence in his former place of duty for personal reasons. He lived for a few months with a friend in the area of his new place of duty before moving into single quarters.

The grievor's application for the Post Living Differential (PLD) was denied by the Director Compensation and Benefits Administration on the grounds that from the time of his posting to a new place of duty, the residence at his former place of duty was no longer his “principal residence” under the terms of Compensation and Benefits Instruction (CBI) 205.45 (Post Living Differential, paragraph 1, Definitions). This was because the grievor had not moved his household goods and effects (HG&E) to his new place of duty and then moved into single quarters. In addition, a relocation advisor from Brookfield Relocation Services informed the grievor that he could no longer have access to the real estate incentive, as provided for at article 8.2.14 of the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP) Directive, because she felt that his residence at his former place of duty constituted his “principal residence”.

The Initial Authority (IA) felt that the circumstances immediately following the grievor's posting, ie, his preparations and deployment to Afghanistan, were unique and directly related to the latter's military obligations. She therefore awarded the grievor partial redress by giving him the right to the applicable PLD for the geographical area of his former place of duty for the period between his posting and his return from post-deployment leave, ie 12 months. She felt that the grievor's circumstances following his return from post-deployment leave failed to meet the criteria set forth at Chapter 205 (Allowances for Officers and Non-Commissioned Members) of the CBIs and she denied that part of the grievor's request. The IA did not address the real estate incentive issue.

The Committee had to determine whether the grievor was entitled to the PLD under the applicable policies.

The Committee concurred with the IA on the entitlement to the PLD during the period when the grievor was in preparation for and on deployment.

The Committee felt that, given the grievor's circumstances, it was the reasonable expectation of the Canadian Armed Forces that on his return following post-deployment leave he would establish his principal residence at his new place of duty. He could have profited from the relocation benefits accorded under the CF IRP Directive. From the moment the grievor made the personal choice not to dispose of his residence at his former place of duty, his move could no longer be considered a “temporary restriction” or a prohibition. Thus his residence at his former place of duty could no longer be considered his principal residence within the meaning of the PLD policy.

The Committee was satisfied that the residence of the grievor's friend was located “at his place of duty” and that the criteria defining a “principal residence” from the policy had been met under the terms of CBI 205.45(1). The Committee therefore found that, given the grievor's particular circumstances, he was entitled to the PLD for the geographical area of his new place of duty for the duration of his stay at his friend's home.

The Committee also found that the military single quarters where the grievor was living failed to meet the definition of “principal residence”. Consequently, the grievor was no longer eligible for the PLD once he began living in a military single quarters residence until such time as he purchases a principal residence in the geographical area of his new place of duty that meets the criteria of CBI 205.45.

The Committee was of the opinion that the grievor met the eligibility criteria for the real estate incentive, as set forth in article 8.2.14 of the CF IRP Directive, and that he has not been given a reasonable opportunity to profit from this incentive, given the particular facts of his situation.

The Committee recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff grant repayment of the PLD and the real estate incentive.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2016–08–25

The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendations that the grievor be repaid PLD for the identified periods and that he be authorized to have his residence appraised in order for him to decide if he claims or not the real estate incentive.

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