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Pay & Leave Recruitment, Relocation & Retention Incentives

 

Overview

Recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives (3Rs) are compensation flexibilities available to help Federal agencies recruit and retain a world-class workforce. The 3Rs are administered under 5 U.S.C. 5753 and 5754 and 5 CFR part 575, subparts A, B, and C.

Memos & Reports

Compensation Policy Memoranda

Reports to Congress

Section 101(c) of the Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-411, October 30, 2004) required the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to submit an annual report to specified committees of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives on agencies' use of the recruitment, relocation, and retention incentive authorities in 5 U.S.C. 5753 and 5754 during calendar years 2005-2009. The report provide data on and describe each agency's use of the incentives during the calendar year.

Calendar Year 2009

Previous Calendar Years

Fact Sheets

Non-GS Employees

Recruitment, Relocation, and Retention Incentives: Coverage of Non-General Schedule Employees Under Single-Agency Pay Systems

Upon the request of the head of an executive agency, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may approve coverage under the recruitment, relocation, and retention incentive authorities of one or more categories of non-General Schedule employees in a single agency. (See 5 U.S.C. 5753(a)(1)(B) and 5754(a)(1)(B) and OPM regulations at 5 CFR 575.103(a)(7), 575.203(a)(7), and 575.303(a)(7).)

Agencies with one or more categories of non-General Schedule employees who are not specifically covered by the 3Rs regulations or an OPM approval may not provide 3Rs to these employees unless the agency has a separate statutory authority to do so. The statute must provide authority for the agency to grant payments similar to the 3Rs or additional compensation. A statute that only provides an agency with the authority to fix rates of basic pay for a category of employees would generally not be interpreted as providing authority to pay 3Rs payments because 3Rs are not considered rates of basic pay.

The following list shows the categories of employees OPM has approved to be covered by the 3Rs under 5 U.S.C. 5753 and 5754. The original approval date is in brackets after each category of employees.

Agriculture

AD (administratively determined) employees paid under 7 U.S.C. 426a, b, and c and appointed under 5 CFR 213.3113(a)(1) [04/27/1995]

Commerce

NOAA marine wage employees [10/23/1992]

AD and GG employees (Census Bureau) [05/05/1998]

Corporation for National Service

AD employees paid under 42 U.S.C. 12653h(c)(3) [09/15/1993]

Employees under Corporation for National Service alternative personnel system authorized by the National Community Service Trust Act of 1993 (Public Law 103-82) [12/01/1995]

Defense

Employees appointed under enabling legislation for USNA, Naval War College, Naval Postgraduate School, Army War College, Air Force Institute of Technology, and Air University [12/31/1991]

Navy marine wage employees [06/25/1992]

Faculty and staff of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) [10/19/1992]

Employees of section 6 schools [01/15/1993]

Employees under the Department of the Navy's Space and Warfare Command and Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division alternative personnel system [05/30/2001]

Professional educators in the Department of Defense Education Activity paid under 20 U.S.C. chapter 29 [12/04/2001]

Employees of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) Faculty Personnel System covered by 10 U.S.C. 1595 [02/18/2005]

Employees of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) covered by 10 U.S.C. 1595 [06/07/2005]

Employees appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3161(b) in the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction [01/18/2006]

Employees of the Department of Defense National Defense University (including the Africa Center for Security Studies, the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, and the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies) and the George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies whose pay is administratively determined under 10 U.S.C. 1595 [04/10/2006]

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employees whose pay is administratively determined under 10 U.S.C. 1601 [02/23/2007]

Employees appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3161(b) in the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction [03/29/2010]

Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission employees appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3161(b) whose pay is administratively determined [09/06/13]

Employees hired by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Defense under 5 U.S.C. 3161 and 5 U.S.C. 9902(g) in support of its role as the Lead Inspector General for designated overseas contingency operations required by Section 8L of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. § 8L) [01/11/16]

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board

Professional and technical personnel paid under Section 161d of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (as amended by Public Law 101-510) [01/02/2008]

Education

Senior managers and technical and scientific employees in the Office of Student Financial Assistance Programs appointed and paid under the Higher Education Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-44) [09/30/1999]

Election Assistance Commission

Employees paid in accordance with section 204(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 [10/08/2004]

Energy

Power system dispatchers [01/15/1993]

Wage board employees of the (1) Bonneville Power Administration whose pay is negotiated under the Bonneville Project Act of 1937 (16 U.S.C. 8321); (2) Southwestern Power Administration whose pay is negotiated under the Department of Interior secretarial Order No. 19865, August 31, 1943; and (3) Western Area Power Administration whose pay is negotiated under section 9(b) of Public Law 92-392 and section 704 of Public Law 95-454 [01/13/2000]

Scientific, engineering, technical, and professional employees paid under section 621(d) of the Department of Energy Organization Act (pay plan EJ), section 3161 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995 (Public Law 103-337) (pay plan EK), and section 3241 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2000 (Public Law 106-65) (pay plan EN) [05/22/2001]

Employees in the ER and ET pay plans established for Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) [05/22/2012]

Exceptionally well qualified individuals in the EQ pay plan appointed under section 313 of division D of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Public Law 113-76), to scientific, engineering, or other critical technical positions. [6/25/2014]

Environmental Protection Agency

Employees appointed to a position under the administratively determined (AD) pay authority established by the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments (Public Law 95-190, November 16, 1977) [08/21/2002]

Health and Human Services

Employees appointed to the Senior Biomedical Research Service under 42 U.S.C. 237 [04/20/1999]

Interior

Prevailing rate employees whose pay is negotiated under section 9(b) of the Government Employees Prevailing Rate Systems Act, Public Law 92-392, and section 704 of the Civil Service Reform Act, Public Law 95-454 [05/04/2001]

International Broadcasting Bureau

Non-U.S. citizen employees appointed under 22 U.S.C. 1474(1) and the Smith-Mundt Act (Public Law 80-402). Employees are excepted service paid under chapter 18 of title 22, United States Code (Public Law 101-249, February 16, 1990) [03/24/2003]

Justice

U.S Attorneys, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, U.S. Trustees, and Assistant U.S. Trustees [08/19/1991]

Immigration judges paid under section 371(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 [12/26/1996]

Millennium Challenge Corporation

Employees who are paid in accordance with section 617(d) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-199, Division D), and who are not among the 30 for which pay is administratively determined under section 617(c) of the Act [03/24/2004]

Morris K. Udall Foundation

AD employees paid under 20 U.S.C. 5608(a)(1) [01/15/2009]

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

AD employees paid under 42 U.S.C. 2473(c) [09/18/1991]

National Science Foundation

Employees appointed under 42 U.S.C. 1864a and 1873(a) [10/22/1991]

Office of Personnel Management

Experts and consultants appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3109 whose pay is determined in accordance with 5 CFR part 304. [2/18/2014]

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

AD employees paid under 22 U.S.C. 2193(d) [08/07/1991]

State

Employees appointed under the Foreign Service Act of 1980 and U.N. Participation Act of 1945 [09/03/1991]

Treasury

National Taxpayer Advocate appointed and compensated under 7803(c)(1)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended by section 1102(a) of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 [08/08/1998]

Employees appointed and compensated under the streamlined critical pay authority at 5 U.S.C. 9503, as established by section 1201(a) of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 [08/08/1998]

Police officers in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) and the U.S. Mint paid under 5 U.S.C. 5378 [10/19/2000]

USAID

Employees appointed under the Foreign Service Act of 1980 and section 625(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 [07/31/1992]

Veterans Affairs

Part-time and temporary positions appointed under 38 U.S.C. 7405 and listed in 38 U.S.C. 7401(1) (i.e., part-time and temporary physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, nurses, physician assistants, and expanded-function dental auxiliaries) [01/19/2001]

Part-time and temporary hybrid positions appointed under 38 U.S.C. 7405 and listed in 38 U.S.C. 7405(a)(1)(B) (i.e., part-time and temporary certified or registered respiratory therapists, licensed physical therapists, licensed practical/vocational nurses, pharmacists, and occupational therapists) [01/19/2001]

Executive clinical positions appointed under 38 U.S.C. 7306 [01/19/2001]

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Authority and Regulations

Extensions of Authority

View the categories of non-General Schedule employees in a single agency approved by OPM for 3Rs coverage.

Law and Regulations

  • 5 U.S.C. 5753 and 5754
  • 5 CFR part 575, subparts A, B, and C

FAQs

  • An agency must terminate a retention incentive service agreement when conditions change such that the original determination to pay the retention incentive no longer applies (such as when the agency assigns the employee to a different position that is not within the terms of the service agreement) or when payment is no longer warranted.  In such cases, the employee is entitled to retain any retention incentive payments attributable to completed service and to receive any portion of retention incentive payment owed by the agency for completed service. An agency also must terminate a service agreement if an employee is demoted or separated for cause (i.e., for unacceptable performance or conduct), receives a rating of record of less than "Fully Successful" or equivalent, or otherwise fails to fulfill the terms of the service agreement.  In such cases, the employee is entitled to retain any retention incentive payments attributable to completed service.  The agency is not obligated to pay the employee any outstanding incentive payment attributable to completed service unless such payment was required under the terms of the retention incentive service agreement. An agency must notify an employee in writing when it terminates a retention incentive service agreement.  (See 5 CFR 575.311.)
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  • A recruitment incentive may be paid to an employee who is newly appointed to an eligible category of position that is likely to be difficult to fill in the absence of such an incentive. An agency may target groups of similar positions that have been difficult to fill in the past or that may be difficult to fill in the future (except positions covered by 5 CFR 575.103(a)(2),(a)(3) or (a)(5), or in similar categories approved by OPM) and make the required determination to offer a recruitment incentive to newly-appointed employees on a group basis. (See 5 CFR 575.105.)
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  • No. Under 5 CFR 317.801(b), an SES member may only elect to retain basic pay, performance awards, rank awards, severance pay, leave, and retirement provisions. Recruitment and relocation incentives are not basic pay for this purpose.
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  • An authorized agency official may request that OPM waive the 25 percent cap based on a critical agency need. The agency must determine that the competencies required for the position are critical to the successful accomplishment of an important agency mission, project, or initiative (e.g., programs or projects related to a national emergency or implementing a new law or critical management initiative). Under such a waiver, the total amount of recruitment or relocation incentive payments paid to an employee in a service period may not exceed 50 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. However, in no event may a waiver provide total incentive payments exceeding 100 percent of the employee’s annual rate of basic pay at the beginning of the service period. (See 5 CFR 575.109(c) and 575.209(c).)
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  • The agency must calculate the relocation incentive using the locality rate for the new locality pay area.
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  • The agency must have provided a general or specific written notice to the employee that his or her position may or would be affected by the closure or relocation of the employee’s office, facility, activity, or organization (e.g., the employee’s position may or would move to a new geographic location or the employee’s position may or would be eliminated).  (See 5 CFR 575.315(b)(3).)
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  • The period of employment under a recruitment incentive service agreement may not be less than 6 months and may not exceed 4 years. (See 5 CFR 575.110(a).) The period of employment under a relocation service agreement may not exceed 4 years. (See 5 CFR 575.210(a).) There is no minimum period of employment under a relocation incentive service agreement.
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  • An installment payment is derived by multiplying the rate of basic pay the employee earned in the installment period by a percentage not to exceed the incentive percentage rate established for the employee. (See 5 CFR 575.309(c)(1).) If an employee is in nonpay status during the full installment period, then he or she has earned no basic pay in the installment period, and therefore would receive no retention payment for the period of time he or she is in a nonpay status. If an employee is in a nonpay status for part of the installment or service period, the employee’s retention incentive must be computed based on the amount of basic pay earned.
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  • An agency must terminate a retention incentive service agreement if–
    • The closure or relocation is cancelled or no longer affects the employee’s position;
    • The employee moves to another position not affected by the closure or relocation (including another position within the same agency);
    • For relocation situations, the employee accepts the agency's offer to relocate with his or her office, facility, activity, or organization and, thus, the employee is no longer likely to leave for a different position in the Federal service; or
    • The employee moves to a different position in the same office, facility, activity, or organization subject to closure or relocation that is not covered by the employee’s service agreement.  In this situation, the agency may authorize a new retention incentive for the employee, as appropriate.
    If an agency terminates a service agreement in cases in which (1) the employee’s movement to another position is by management action and not at the employee’s request or (2) the closure or relocation is cancelled or no longer affects the employee’s position, the employee is entitled to retain any retention incentive payments attributable to completed service and is entitled to receive any portion of a retention incentive payment owed by the agency for completed service. If an agency terminates a service agreement when the employee’s movement to another position is at the employee’s request, the employee is entitled to retain retention incentive payments previously paid by the agency that are attributable to the completed portion of the service period.  If the employee received retention incentive payments that are less than the amount that would be attributable to the completed portion of the service period, the agency is not obligated to pay the employee the amount attributable to completed service, unless the agency agreed to such payment under the terms of the retention incentive service agreement. (See 5 CFR 575.315(g).)
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  • No. Retention incentives are not considered part of an employee’s rate of basic pay for any purpose, including severance pay, and are not included in lump-sum annual leave payments. (See 5 CFR 575.309(h) and 5 CFR 550.1205(b).)
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  • A service agreement is not required when the agency pays the incentive —
    • In biweekly installments at the full retention incentive percentage rate established for the employee; and
    • The incentive percent amount established for the employee is set at or below the 25 percent cap (or 10 percent cap for groups of employees).   (See 5 CFR 575.310(f).)
    Note:  See special exception in 5 CFR 575.309(e)(4) and 575.315(e)(2).
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  • No. Agencies are not required to submit their retention incentive plans to OPM for review or approval.
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Total Count: 112, Number of Pages: 6, Page: 6
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