Want Flexibilities? OPM Issuing Regs To Enhance Recruitment, Relocation, and Retention

May 13, 2005 7:28 AM , Updated July 7, 2019 7:23 PM
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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.

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.

© 2020 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.


About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47