Click here to skip navigation
This website uses features which update page content based on user actions. If you are using assistive technology to view web content, please ensure your settings allow for the page content to update after initial load (this is sometimes called "forms mode"). Additionally, if you are using assistive technology and would like to be notified of items via alert boxes, please follow this link to enable alert boxes for your session profile.
An official website of the United States Government.

Frequently Asked Questions Pay & Leave

Within-Grade Increases

  • If service with the agency (for a recruitment incentive) or at the new duty station (for a relocation incentive) does not begin on the first day of a pay period, the agency must delay the service period commencement date so that a required service period begins on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after the commencement of service in the agency or at the new duty station. An agency also may delay a service agreement commencement date until after an employee completes an initial period of formal training or a required probationary period when continued employment in the position is contingent on successful completion of the formal training or probationary period. The agency must make the determination to pay an incentive before the employee enters on duty in the position for which recruited or to which relocated. However, the service agreement must specify that if the employee does not successfully complete the training or probationary period before the service period commences, the agency is not obligated to pay any portion of the incentive to the employee. (See 5 CFR 575.110(b) and 575.210(b).)
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Agencies are responsible for making their own determination regarding what this term means.  In doing so, agencies should take into account consistency, fairness, and the cost to taxpayers of recovering monies owed to the Government.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • For the purpose of determining the number of years in a service period, divide the total number of calendar days in the service period by 365 and round the result to two decimal places. For example, a service period covering 39 biweekly pay period equals 546 days, and 546 days divided by 365 days equals 1.50 years. (See 5 CFR 575.109(b)(3) and 575.209(b)(3).)
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Under 5 CFR 575.110(f) and 575.210(f), agencies may address the extent to which periods of time in a nonpay status or in a paid leave status (or paid time off status) are creditable toward the completion of an incentive service period and to determine whether recruitment or relocation incentive installment payments will continue as scheduled while an employee is in a non-pay status or paid leave status, with the exception of an employee who is on military leave without pay. An employee who is absent because of uniformed service is generally entitled upon reemployment to be treated as though he or she had never left. (See 5 CFR 353.107.) This means that a person who is reemployed following uniformed service receives credit for the entire period of the absence for the purpose of rights and benefits based upon seniority and length of service, including within-grade increases, career tenure, completion of probation, leave rate accrual, and severance pay. Therefore, the period of military LWOP is creditable toward the completion of a recruitment or relocation incentive service period, and scheduled recruitment or relocation installment payments specified in the service agreement must continue during the period of military LWOP.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • No.  DOD and Coast Guard NAFI employees must have a 90-day break-in-service to be eligible for a recruitment incentive upon movement to a position listed in 5 CFR 575.103 (unless one of the remaining exclusions in the definition of “newly appointed” applies).
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • No. Periods of leave without pay, or other periods during which an employee is not in a pay status, do not count toward completion of the required service period. However, as provided by 5 CFR 353.107, absence because of uniformed service or compensable injury is considered creditable toward the required service period upon reemployment.  (See 5 CFR 537.107(b).)
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Before the employee enters on duty in the position for which recruited, or in the position in the new geographic area, the agency must determine that, in the absence of a recruitment or relocation incentive (as applicable), the agency would encounter difficulty in filling the position. An agency may determine that a position is likely to be difficult to fill if the agency is likely to have difficulty recruiting candidates with the competencies required for the position in the absence of a recruitment or relocation incentive based on the fact that OPM has approved the use of a direct-hire authority applicable to the position or on a consideration of the following factors:
    • The availability and quality of candidates possessing the competencies required for the position, including the success of recent efforts to recruit candidates for similar positions using indicators such as offer acceptance rates, the proportion of positions filled, and the length of time required to fill similar positions;
    • The salaries typically paid outside the Federal Government for similar positions;
    • Recent turnover in similar positions;
    • Employment trends and labor-market factors that may affect the agency's ability to recruit candidates for similar positions;
    • Special or unique competencies required for the position;
    • Agency efforts to use non-pay authorities, such as special training and work scheduling flexibilities, to resolve difficulties, alone or in combination with a recruitment or relocation incentive;
    • The desirability of the duties, work or organizational environment, or geographic location of the position; and
    • Other supporting factors.
    (See 5 CFR 575.106 and 575.206.)
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Yes. An agency may pay a recruitment incentive to an employee who has not yet entered on duty if the individual has accepted a written offer of employment and has signed a service agreement. (See 5 CFR 575.109(d).)
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Yes. However, an agency may not include in a group retention incentive authorization an employee in a senior-level (SL), scientific or professional (ST), Senior Executive Service (SES), Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration (FBI/DEA) SES, or Executive Schedule (EX) position or similar categories of positions for which the payment of a retention incentive has been approved by OPM. (See 5 CFR 575.305(c) and 575.315(a)(2).) Retention incentives for employees in such positions must be approved on an individual, case-by-case basis.
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.
  • Loans made or insured under the Higher Education Act of 1965 include the following: Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL)
    • Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
    • Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
    • Federal PLUS Loans
    • Federal Consolidation Loans
    William D. Ford Direct Loan Program (Direct Loans)
    • Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
    • Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
    • Direct PLUS Loans
    • Direct Subsidized Consolidation Loans
    • Direct Unsubsidized Consolidation Loans
    Federal Perkins Loan Program
    • National Defense Student Loans (made before July 1, 1972)
    • National Direct Student Loans (made between July 1, 1972, and July 1, 1987)
    • Perkins Loans (made after July 1, 1987)
    Loans made or insured under the Public Health Service Act include the following:
    • Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)
    • Primary Care Loans (PCL)
    • Nursing Student Loans (NSL)
    • Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL)
    • Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)
    How well did this answer your question? Submit
    Submitting rating...
    Thank you for your feedback!
    An error occurred while trying to submit your feedback.
    Please try again later.

Unexpected Error

There was an unexpected error when performing your action.

Your error has been logged and the appropriate people notified. You may close this message and try your command again, perhaps after refreshing the page. If you continue to experience issues, please notify the site administrator.

Working...