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Frequently Asked Questions Pay & Leave

In the regulations in effect prior to May 13, 2005, at 5 CFR 575.104(c)(2)(v), agencies were required to consider "the practicality of using the superior qualifications appointment authority . . . alone or in combination with a recruitment bonus" before they authorized a recruitment bonus. Must agencies consider using the superior qualifications and special needs pay-setting authority before they authorize a recruitment incentive?

No, agencies are no longer required to consider using the superior qualifications and special needs pay-setting authority before they authorize a recruitment incentive. However, under 5 CFR 531.212(d) (as in effect on and after May 1, 2005), an agency must consider the possibility of authorizing a recruitment incentive when determining whether to use the superior qualifications and special needs pay-setting authority. The reason for the distinction is that agencies should first consider whether they can attract a candidate by using an authority which has limited implications for the agency budget because it does not increase the employee’s basic pay (e.g., a recruitment incentive) before using a flexibility that increases basic pay (e.g., the superior qualifications and special needs pay-setting authority) which has longer term cost implications.

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