5 CFR § 575.314 - Retention incentives for employees likely to leave for a different position in the Federal service.

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§ 575.314 Retention incentives for employees likely to leave for a different position in the Federal service.

(a) Authority.

(1) An agency in its sole and exclusive discretion, subject only to OPM review and oversight, may approve a retention incentive for an individual employee under the conditions prescribed in this section when the agency determines that -

(i) Given the agency's mission requirements and employee's competencies, the agency has a special need for the employee's services that makes it essential to retain the employee in his or her current position during a period of time before the closure or relocation of the employee's office, facility, activity, or organization; and

(ii) The employee would be likely to leave for a different position in the Federal service in the absence of a retention incentive.

(2) An agency in its sole and exclusive discretion, subject only to OPM review and oversight, may approve a retention incentive for a group or category of employees (subject to the exclusions in § 575.305(c)) under the conditions prescribed in this section when the agency determines that -

(i) Given the agency's mission requirements and employees' competencies, the agency has a special need for the employees' services that makes it essential to retain the employees in their current positions during a period of time before the closure or relocation of the employees' office, facility, activity, or organization; and

(ii) There is a high risk that a significant number of the employees in the group would be likely to leave for different positions in the Federal service in the absence of a retention incentive.

(b) Employee eligibility. An agency may pay a retention incentive to an employee under this section when -

(1) The employee holds a position listed in § 575.303, and is not excluded by § 575.304;

(2) 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; and

(3) The agency has provided a general or specific written notice to the employee that his or her position may or would be affected by the closure or relocation of the employee's office, facility, activity, or organization (e.g., the employee's position may or would move to a new geographic location or the employee's position may or would be eliminated).

(c) Retention incentive plan and approval levels. Before authorizing a retention incentive under this section, an agency must include in its retention incentive plan established under § 575.307(a) the conditions and requirements governing the use of retention incentives under this section for employees who would be likely to leave for a different position in the Federal service before the closure or relocation of the employees' office, facility, activity, or organization, including a designation of the authorized agency officials who may approve retention incentives under this section, consistent with the approval requirements in § 575.307(b).

(d) Approval criteria and written determination.

(1) For each determination to pay a retention incentive under this section, an agency must document in writing -

(i) The basis for determining the agency has a special need for the employee's (or group of employees') services that makes it essential to retain the employee(s), based on the agency's mission needs and the employee's (or group of employees') competencies, during a period of time before the closure or relocation of the employee's (or group of employees') office, facility, activity, or organization;

(ii) The basis for determining, in the absence of a retention incentive, the employee (or a significant number of employees in a group) would be likely to leave for a different position in the Federal service; and

(iii) The basis for establishing the amount and timing of the approved retention incentive payment and the length of the required service period.

(2) An agency must address the following factors when documenting the determination required by paragraph (a) of this section for an individual employee:

(i) The factors for authorizing a retention incentive for an individual employee described in § 575.306(b) as they relate to a determination made under paragraph (a)(1) of this section;

(ii) The extent to which the employee's departure for a different position in the Federal service would affect the agency's ability to carry out an activity, perform a function, or complete a project the agency deems essential to its mission before and during the closure or relocation period (e.g., the agency's need to retain the employee to ensure minimal disruption in the performance of mission-critical functions, continuity of key operations, or minimal disruption of service to the public before and during the closure or relocation; to train new employees who will move with the organization to the new geographic location; to assist with the actual closure or relocation of the office, facility, activity, or organization; or to perform similar mission-essential functions before or during the closure or relocation);

(iii) The competencies possessed by the employee that are essential to retain; and

(iv) The agency (which may be in the executive, judicial, or legislative branch) for which the employee would be likely to leave in the absence of the retention incentive.

(3) An agency must address the following factors when documenting the determination required by paragraph (a) of this section for a group or category of employees:

(i) The factors for authorizing a retention incentive for a group or category of employees described in § 575.306(c) as they relate to the determination made under paragraph (a)(2) of this section; and

(ii) The factors in paragraphs (d)(2)(ii) through (d)(2)(iv) of this section as they relate to the determination made under paragraph (a)(2) of this section for the group or category of employees.

(4) An agency must narrowly define a targeted category of employees using factors that relate to the conditions described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. The factors that may be appropriate are described in § 575.306(c)(2), except that each group retention incentive authorized under this section may cover no more than one occupational series.

(e) Payment of retention incentives.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, the provisions regarding computing and paying retention incentives under § 575.309 apply to computing and paying retention incentives under this section for employees who would be likely to leave for a different position in the Federal service before the closure or relocation of the their office, facility, activity, or organization.

(2) An agency may not pay retention incentives under this section in biweekly installments at the full retention incentive percentage rate established for the employee under § 575.309(a).

(f) Service agreement requirements.

(1) The service agreement provisions in §§ 575.310(b) through 575.310(e) apply to retention incentive service agreements under this section, subject to the additional requirements in paragraphs (f)(2) through (f)(5) of this section.

(2) Before paying a retention incentive under this section, an agency must require an employee, including each employee covered by a group retention incentive authorization, to sign a written service agreement to complete a specified period of employment with the agency.

(3) In no event, may the service period under a service agreement established under this paragraph extend past the date on which the employee's position is actually affected by the relocation or closure of the employee's office, facility, activity, or organization (e.g., the date the employee's position moves to a new geographic location or the date the employee's position is eliminated).

(4) In addition to the terminating conditions in § 575.310(d) and (e), the service agreement must include the conditions under which the agency must terminate the service agreement under paragraph (g) of this section, including the conditions under which the agency will pay an additional retention incentive payment for partially completed service under § 575.311.

(5) The service agreement must include a notification to the employee that the agency will review the determination to pay the retention incentive at least annually to determine whether payment is still warranted, as required by paragraph (g) of this section.

(g) Termination of retention incentives.

(1) The provisions in § 575.311 regarding termination of retention incentive service agreements and paragraphs (g)(2) through (g)(4) of this section apply to the termination of retention incentives authorized under this section. Each determination to pay a retention incentive under this section must be reviewed at least annually to determine if payment is still warranted. An authorized agency official must certify this determination in writing.

(2) In addition to the terminating conditions in § 575.311(a) and (b), an authorized agency official must terminate a retention incentive service agreement under this section if -

(i) The closure or relocation is cancelled or no longer affects the employee's position;

(ii) The employee moves to another position not affected by the closure or relocation (including another position within the same agency);

(iii) For relocation situations, the employee accepts the agency's offer to relocate with his or her the office, facility, activity, or organization and, thus, the employee is no longer likely to leave for a different position in the Federal service; or

(iv) The employee moves to a different position in the same office, facility, activity, or organization subject to closure or relocation that is not covered by the employee's service agreement. In this situation, the agency may authorize a new retention incentive for the employee under this section, as appropriate.

(3) If an authorized agency official terminates a service agreement under paragraph (g)(2)(ii) or (iv) of this section in cases in which the employee's movement to another position is by management action and not at the employee's request or under paragraph (g)(2)(i) 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.

(4) If an authorized agency official terminates a service agreement in termination actions under paragraph (g)(2) of this section that are not covered by paragraph (g)(3) 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.

(h) Monitoring requirements. The monitoring requirements in § 575.312 apply to retention incentives authorized under this section.

(i) Records and reports. In addition to the recordkeeping requirements in § 575.313, each agency must submit a written report to OPM by March 31 of each year on the use of retention incentives under this section. Each report must include -

(1) A description of how the authority to pay retention incentives under this section was used in the agency during the previous calendar year;

(2) The number and dollar amount of retention incentives paid during the previous calendar year to individuals under this section by occupational series and grade, pay level, or other pay classification;

(3) The agency (which may be in the executive, judicial, legislative branch) to which each employee would be likely to leave in the absence of a retention incentive;

(4) Each employee's official worksite and the geographic location of the agency (which may be in the executive, judicial, or legislative branch) for which each employee would be likely to leave in the absence of a retention incentive; and

(5) Other information, records, reports, and data as OPM may require.

[72 FR 64527, Nov. 16, 2007. Redesignated and amended at 78 FR 49364, Aug. 14, 2013]