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Frequently Asked Questions Pay & Leave

Computation of Payment of Reservist Differential

  • For the purpose of paying a recruitment incentive, newly appointed refers to —
    • The first appointment, regardless of tenure, as an employee of the Federal Government;
    • An appointment of a former employee of the Federal Government following a break in service of at least 90 days; or
    • An appointment of an individual in the Federal Government when his is her Federal service during the 90-day period immediately preceding the appointment was limited to one or more of the following:
      • A time-limited appointment in the competitive or excepted service;
      • A non-permanent appointment (excluding a Schedule C appointment under 5 CFR part 213) in the competitive or excepted service;
      • Employment with the government of the District of Columbia (DC) when the candidate was first appointed by the DC government on or after October 1, 1987;
      • An appointment as an expert or consultant under 5 U.S.C. 3109 and 5 CFR part 304;
      • Employment under a provisional appointment designated under 5 CFR 316.403; or
      • Employment under the Student Career Experience Program under 5 CFR 213.3202(b).
    (See the definition of newly appointed in 5 CFR 575.102.)
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  • A position is considered to be in a different geographic area if the worksite of the new position is 50 or more miles from the worksite of the position held immediately before the move. If the worksite of the new position is less than 50 miles from the worksite of the position held immediately before the move, but the employee must relocate (i.e., establish a new residence) to accept the position, an authorized agency official may waive the 50-mile requirement and pay the employee a relocation incentive. (See 5 CFR 575.205(b).)
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  • Yes.  Agencies must report to the IRS the amount of student loan repayment benefits they have provided to an employee.  (See Questions and Answers on Tax Liability.)
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  • By March 31 in each of the years 2006 through 2010, each agency must submit a written report to OPM on the use of the recruitment and relocation incentive authorities within the agency during the previous calendar year for use in compiling an OPM report to Congress, as required by section 101(c) of Public Law 108-411. Each agency report must include—
    • A description of how the authority to pay recruitment and relocation incentives was used by the agency during the previous calendar year;
    • The number and dollar amount of recruitment and relocation incentives paid during the previous calendar year by occupational series and grade, pay level, or other pay classification; and
    • Other information, records, reports, and data as OPM may require.
    (See 5 CFR 575.113(b) and 575.213(b).)
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  • No. An agency may not use this authority to recruit an individual from outside the agency who is currently employed in the Federal service.  (See 5 CFR 537.105(c).)
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  • For each determination to pay a retention incentive, the agency must document in writing—
    • The basis for determining the agency has a special need for the employee’s (or group of employees‘) services that makes it essential to retain the employee(s), based on the agency‘s mission needs and the employee’s (or group of employees‘) competencies, during a period of time before the closure or relocation of the employee’s (or group of employees‘) office, facility, activity, or organization;
    • The basis for determining, in the absence of a retention incentive, the employee (or a significant number of employees in the group) would be likely to leave for a different position in the Federal service; and
    • The basis for determining the amount and timing of the incentive payments and the length of the service period.
    (See 5 CFR 575.315(d)(1).)
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  • A service requirement must be set for a period of time not less than 3 years.  (See 5 U.S.C. 5379(c)(1)(A).)  Agencies may require service agreements of more than 3 years.
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  • Yes. Under 5 CFR 575.105(b), agencies may target groups of positions that have been difficult to fill in the past or that may be difficult to fill in the future and may make the required written determination to offer a recruitment incentive on a group basis (excluding positions covered by 5 CFR 575.103(a)(2), (a)(3), or (a)(5) or in similar categories approved by OPM). All requirements in the regulations and the agency's recruitment incentive plan must be met in order to pay a recruitment incentive to an individual employee in the covered group. For example, agencies may authorize a recruitment incentive of up to 25 percent of the annual rate of basic pay of the employee at the beginning of the service period multiplied by the number of years (including fractions of a year) in the service period (not to exceed 4 years), and the employee must be newly appointed in the Federal Government and must sign a service agreement of at least 6 months with the appointing agency.
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  • FLSA-covered (nonexempt) employees are entitled to receive overtime pay for time spent in entry-level training on the sixth day of a 6-day training course under the conditions specified below. Time spent in apprenticeship or other entry-level training outside regular working hours is not considered hours of work, provided no productive work is performed during such periods (see 5 CFR 551.423(a)(3)). However, under 5 CFR 551.423(a)(1), time spent in training during regular working hours is considered hours of work. The regulations at 5 CFR 551.421 clarify that, for purposes of part 551, "regular working hours" means the days and hours of an employee's regularly scheduled administrative workweek established under 5 CFR part 610. The phrase "regularly scheduled administrative workweek" is defined in 5 CFR 610.102 as the period within an administrative workweek within which an employee is regularly scheduled to work. Also, see the definition of "regularly scheduled work" in 5 CFR 610.102, which hinges on whether the work was scheduled in advance of the administrative workweek. When FLSA-covered employees are scheduled in advance of the administrative workweek to attend a 6-day entry-level training class for a specified number of hours (e.g., 8 hours), those regularly scheduled training hours on the sixth day are "regular working hours" and are considered hours of work for overtime pay purposes. For example, an FLSA-covered employee who is required to attend a 6-day training session at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) is entitled to overtime pay for the sixth day of training, since the employee was scheduled in advance of the administrative workweek to attend the FLETC training course. Because the regularly scheduled training hours on the sixth day are considered to be "regular working hours" (and the training will not occur outside regular working hours), it is irrelevant that the FLETC training is entry-level training and that no productive work is being performed. Agencies are responsible for determining whether an employee is entitled to receive overtime pay for regularly scheduled training hours under the conditions specified above. Agencies may need to recompute an employee's overtime pay entitlement and provide back pay under 5 CFR part 550, subpart H, for overtime hours that occurred during regularly scheduled training.
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