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News Release

Thursday, May 12, 2005
Contact: Edmund D. Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Issues Memo to Agency Heads on Recruitment, Relocation, and Retention Incentives

Washington, D.C.-- The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing interim regulations to significantly enhance the federal government's recruitment, relocation, and retention payment authorities. The regulations provide agencies with the flexibility to use these authorities strategically to improve the federal government's ability to recruit and retain a high quality workforce.

"These regulations implement the important legislation Congress enacted to provide federal agencies and departments with the flexibilities they need to maintain and upgrade their workforces," said OPM Acting Director Dan G. Blair. "Recruitment, relocation, and retention payments provide a needed monetary incentive that may be used to ensure that the government has the ‘right people in the right jobs.'"

The interim regulations implementing the new authorities are effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register and replace the regulations governing recruitment and relocation bonuses and retention allowances that were in effect prior to the effective date of the new regulations. (The interim regulations are scheduled to be published on May 13.)

The law and regulations allow agencies to pay larger recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives than the former recruitment and relocation bonus and retention allowance authorities. In addition, agencies may make such payments in installments, in a single lump-sum payment, or in a combination of these methods.

To assist agencies in administering the new authorities, OPM is issuing revised fact sheets and examples of calculating payments. The fact sheets and pay examples are available at

OPM also has invited agency human resources specialists to an OPM forum, where we will provide detailed information and practical examples on the application of the new recruitment, relocation, and retention incentive authorities.

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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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