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Performance Management Performance Management Cycle

Crediting Performance for Reduction in Force

Agencies have greater flexibility in a reduction in force to assign retention credit for ratings in a competitive area where different summary patterns exist. This article explains requirements and explores flexibilities in crediting performance.

Requirements

Agencies assign additional retention credit to an employee's length of service based on performance as reflected in the employee's three most recent ratings of record given during the four years prior to the reduction in force. In a competitive area where all of the credited ratings of record were given under a single pattern of summary levels (e.g., all given under a five-level program or all given under a two-level program), agencies must compute the additional service credit by averaging the three most recent ratings of record given in the previous four years using the following values:

  • 20 years of service for each Level 5 (Outstanding or equivalent rating);
  • 16 years of service for each Level 4; and
  • 12 years of service for each Level 3 (Fully Successful or equivalent rating).

However, if one or more employees within a competitive area received ratings of record that were given under different summary patterns (e.g., if some ratings of record were given under a five-level program and some were given under a two-level program), the resulting mix of summary patterns gives the agency flexibility for assigning years of service credit.

Flexibilities

Under the regulations effective December 24, 1997, if a mix of summary patterns exists within a competitive area, agencies must consider how they will credit performance (but they need not change from the 12-16-20 formula). They can vary the values assigned to ratings so that performance crediting will be as equitable as possible, within the following limitations:

  • Years. Values must be at least 12 years but no more than 20 years;
  • Whole Numbers. When averaging the values to compute the additional credit, if the average results in a fraction, agencies must round up to the nearest whole number (only full years can be credited);
  • Consistency. Within a competitive area, the agency must use the same number of years additional retention service credit for all ratings of record with the same summary level in the same pattern; and
  • Poor Performance. Agencies cannot assign additional service credit for summary levels below the Fully Successful or equivalent level (Level 3).

Examples

Within these limitations, agencies can credit performance - when a mix of patterns exists in a competitive area - in a variety of ways, including:

  • Agencies may decide to retain the 12-16-20 years of service credit that is required when no mix of patterns exists.
  • Agencies may decide to assign different values to the same summary level in different summary patterns. For example, they may assign 16 additional years of service for each Level 3 (Fully Successful or equivalent rating) in a two-level pattern and only 15 additional years to Level 3 (Fully Successful or equivalent rating) in a five-level pattern in the same reduction in force, and within the same competitive area.
  • Agencies may decide to assign the same number of additional years of service credit to different summary levels in the same pattern.

For example, an agency may assign 20 years additional service credit for each Level 4 (Exceeds Fully Successful or equivalent rating) as well as 20 years of additional service credit for each Level 5 (Outstanding or equivalent rating) in the same summary pattern in the same competitive area and the same reduction in force.

When making their decision about the amount of additional service credit to assign each level, agencies should base the decision on an analysis of the unique situation of the competitive area, the mix of summary patterns, and the relative number of employees under each pattern.

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