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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Contact: Marcus A. Williams
Tel: 202-606-2402

Agencies Increase Use of Student Loan Repayment Program

The annual OPM report to Congress reflects that Federal agencies' overall financial investment in the program has increased by 22 percent

Washington, D.C. - Today, the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) submitted the annual report on the Federal Student Loan Repayment Program (the Program) to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The report shows that during the Calendar Year (CY) 2008, 35 Federal agencies provided 6,879 employees with a total of more than $51 million in student loan repayment benefits.

"I am pleased with the reported increases. The Program is part of a directed effort for agencies to compete with the higher salaries offered in the private sector and maintain a highly skilled workforce," said OPM Director John Berry. "President Barack Obama has highlighted the importance of recruitment and retention tools and asked each agency to do its part to ensure ‘this Government is as efficient as possible and that every taxpayer dollar that is spent is being spent wisely.' We have many critical skills gaps in the Federal government and we need to use every tool in our tool box to bring the best service to the American public. During my tenure, I intend to carry out the President's call of efficiency and good stewardship and encourage agencies to use student loan repayments in targeted and strategic ways."

Section 5379 of Title 5, United States Code, authorizes agencies to establish a program under which they may repay certain types of Federally made, insured, or guaranteed student loans for highly qualified candidates or current employees as a recruitment or retention tool. Agencies may provide up to $10,000 annually and $60,000 in aggregate for employees enrolled in the program. Employees must commit to at least three years of Federal service if they agree to receive loan repayments through the program.

The Program has been used most frequently to recruit and retain criminal investigators, attorneys, and intelligence analysts. In CY 2008, the Departments of Justice, Defense, State and Health and Human Services, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Government Accountability Office used the Program the most as compared to other agencies.

For more on the Student Loan Repayment Program visit, www.opm.gov/oca/PAY/StudentLoan

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Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.


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