Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the head of any office in the legislative branch may establish a program under which voluntary separation incentive payments may be offered to eligible employees of the office to encourage such employees to separate from service voluntarily (whether by retirement or resignation), in accordance with this section.
No voluntary separation incentive payment may be paid under this section with respect to an office unless the head of the office submits a plan described in paragraph (2) to each applicable committee described in paragraph (3), and each applicable committee approves the plan.
For purposes of this subsection, the “applicable committee” with respect to an office means any committee of the House of Representatives or Senate with jurisdiction over the activities of the office under the applicable rules of the House of Representatives and the Senate (as determined by the head of the office), but does not include the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Subject to paragraph (2), an employee who has received a voluntary separation incentive payment under this section and accepts employment with the Government of the United States within 5 years after the date of the separation on which the payment is based shall be required to repay the entire amount of the incentive payment to the office that paid the incentive payment.
For purposes of paragraph (1) (but not paragraph (2)), the term “employment” includes employment under a personal services contract with the United States.
This section shall take effect on December 8, 2004, and shall apply with respect to the portion of fiscal year 2005 occurring on and after December 8, 2004, and to each succeeding fiscal year.