5 CFR § 575.311 - Continuation, reduction, and termination of retention incentives.

§ 575.311 Continuation, reduction, and termination of retention incentives.

(a)

(1) For each retention incentive that is subject to a service agreement, an authorized agency official must review the determination to pay a retention incentive at least annually to determine whether the original determination still applies or whether payment is still warranted as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, and must certify this determination in writing.

(2) An authorized agency official must terminate a retention incentive service agreement when conditions change such that the original determination to pay the retention incentive no longer applies (e.g., 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 after considering factors such as -

(i) Whether a retention incentive is needed to retain the employee (or group of employees),

(ii) Whether labor-market factors make it more likely (or reasonably likely) to recruit a candidate with competencies similar to those possessed by the employee (or group of employees), or

(iii) Whether the agency's need for the services of the employee (or group or category of employees) has been reduced to a level that makes it unnecessary to continue paying a retention incentive.

(3) An authorized agency official may terminate unilaterally a retention incentive service agreement based solely on the management needs of the agency, even if the conditions giving rise to the original determination to pay the incentive still exist. For example, an agency may terminate a service agreement when there are insufficient funds to continue the planned retention incentive payments.

(b) An authorized agency official must terminate a retention incentive service agreement when -

(1) The employee is demoted or separated for cause (i.e., for unacceptable performance or conduct);

(2) The employee receives a 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) of less than “Fully Successful” or equivalent; or

(3) The employee otherwise fails to fulfill the terms of the service agreement.

(c) If an authorized agency official terminates a service agreement under paragraph (a) of this section, the employee is entitled to retain any retention incentive payments that are attributable to completed service and to receive any portion of a retention incentive payment owed by the agency for completed service.

(d) If an authorized agency official terminates a service agreement under paragraph (b) of this section, 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.

(e) To determine the amount of retention incentive payments that may be owed to an employee for completed service under paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, multiply the total rate of basic pay the employee earned during the completed portion of the service period by the retention incentive percentage rate established for the employee under § 575.309(a) and subtract the amount of retention incentive payments already paid to the employee from this product. The difference is the amount owed to the employee for completed service.

(f)

(1) For retention incentives that are paid when no service agreement is required under § 575.310(f), an agency must review each determination to pay the incentive at least annually to determine whether payment is still warranted. An authorized agency official must certify this determination in writing.

(2) An agency may continue paying a retention incentive to an employee when no service agreement is required as long as the conditions giving rise to the original determination to pay the incentive still exist.

(3) An authorized agency official must reduce or terminate a retention incentive authorization when no service agreement is required whenever conditions change such that the original determination to pay the retention incentive no longer applies (e.g., when the agency assigns the employee to a different position that is not within the terms of the original determination) or when payment is no longer warranted at the level originally approved or at all after considering factors such as -

(i) Whether a lesser amount (or none at all) would be sufficient to retain the employee (or group or category of employees);

(ii) Whether labor-market factors make it more likely (or reasonably likely) to recruit a candidate with competencies similar to those possessed by the employee (or group or category of employees); or

(iii) Whether the agency's need for the services of the employee (or group or category of employees) has been reduced to a level that makes it unnecessary to continue payment at the level originally approved (or at all).

(4) An authorized agency official may terminate unilaterally a retention incentive authorization when no service agreement is required based solely on the management needs of the agency, even if the conditions giving rise to the original determination to pay the incentive still exist. For example, an agency may terminate a retention incentive when there are insufficient funds to continue the planned retention incentive payments.

(5) An authorized agency official must terminate a retention incentive authorization when no service agreement is required when -

(i) The employee is demoted or separated for cause (i.e., for unacceptable performance or conduct), or

(ii) The employee receives a 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) of less than “Fully Successful” or equivalent.

(g) The termination of a retention incentive service agreement or the reduction or termination of a retention incentive under this section is not grievable or appealable.

(h) If an agency terminates a retention incentive service agreement or reduces or terminates a retention incentive paid without a service agreement under this section, the agency must notify the employee in writing. When a retention incentive is terminated under paragraph (f) of this section, the employee is entitled to receive any scheduled incentive payments through the end of the pay period in which the written notice is provided or until the date of separation, if sooner.

[72 FR 67840, Dec. 3, 2007, as amended at 78 FR 49364, Aug. 14, 2013]