5 CFR § 575.305 - Applicability to employees.
(2) The employee would be likely to leave the Federal service in the absence of a retention incentive.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, an agency may pay a retention incentive to a group or category of employees under the conditions prescribed in this subpart when the agency determines that -
(1) The unusually high or unique qualifications (i.e., competencies) of the group or category of employees or a special need of the agency for the employees' services makes it essential to retain the employees in that group or category; and
(2) There is a high risk that a significant number of the employees in the group would be likely to leave the Federal service in the absence of a retention incentive.
(c) An agency may not include in a group retention incentive authorization an employee covered by § 575.303(a)(2), (a)(3), or (a)(5) or those in similar categories of positions approved by OPM to receive retention incentives under § 575.303(a)(7).
(d) A retention incentive may be paid only when the employee's rating of record (or an official performance appraisal or evaluation under a system not covered by 5 U.S.C. chapter 43 or 5 CFR part 430) is at least “Fully Successful” or equivalent.