Sure, it would be nice to use those flexibilities you always hear about – recruitment, relocation and even retention incentives that could be used on deserving federal employees. But in the past actually using these authorities has been overly bureaucratic and time-consuming, often making the initiative difficult to realize.
There is hope on the horizon, however, as the Office of Personnel Management is doing its part to assist agencies by issuing new regulations designed 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.
"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 today, Friday, 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 here.
OPM also has invited agency human resources specialists to an OPM forum, where OPM officials will provide detailed information and practical examples on the application of the new recruitment, relocation, and retention incentive authorities.
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