5 U.S. Code § 9804 - Recruitment, redesignation, and relocation bonuses
(a) Notwithstanding section 5753, the Administrator may pay a bonus to an individual, in accordance with the workforce plan and subject to the limitations in this section, if—
(1) the Administrator determines that the Administration would be likely, in the absence of a bonus, to encounter difficulty in filling a position; and
(2) the individual—
(B) is currently employed by the Federal Government and is newly appointed to another position in the same geographic area; or
(b) If the position is described as addressing a critical need in the workforce plan under section 9802 (b)(2)(A), the amount of a bonus may not exceed—
(1) 50 percent of the employee’s annual rate of basic pay (including comparability payments under sections 5304 and 5304a) as of the beginning of the service period multiplied by the service period specified under subsection (d)(1)(B)(i); or
(c) If the position is not described as addressing a critical need in the workforce plan under section 9802 (b)(2)(A), the amount of a bonus may not exceed 25 percent of the employee’s annual rate of basic pay (excluding comparability payments under sections 5304 and 5304a) as of the beginning of the service period.
(A) Payment of a bonus under this section shall be contingent upon the individual entering into a service agreement with the Administration.
(B) At a minimum, the service agreement shall include—
(ii) the method of payment, including a payment schedule, which may include a lump-sum payment, installment payments, or a combination thereof;
(2) For purposes of determinations under subsections (b)(1) and (c)(1), the employee’s service period shall be expressed as the number equal to the full years and twelfth parts thereof, rounding the fractional part of a month to the nearest twelfth part of a year. The service period may not be less than 6 months and may not exceed 4 years.
(e) Before paying a bonus under this section, the Administration shall establish a plan for paying recruitment, redesignation, and relocation bonuses, subject to approval by the Office of Personnel Management.