New Rules for Relocation, Retention, and Recruitment

On Wednesday last week the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a final rule for relocation, retention, and recruitment (3R) incentives. The final rule follows preliminary rules that had been issued in January 2011. 

The final rules are designed to improve oversight of recruitment and retention incentive determinations and to add succession planning to the list of factors than an agency must consider before approving a retention incentive. 

Under the rule, agencies will have to review recruitment bonuses for hard-to-fill jobs annually, rather than every three years, to ensure payment of such bonuses are necessary to fill the positions. An authorized official will also have to approve the assessment. 

Agencies will be able to request a waiver from OPM to authorize recruitment incentives above 25 percent for an individual or group of employees based on critical agency need. If a waiver is granted, the recruitment incentive cannot exceed 50 percent of an employee’s annual rate of basic pay at the beginning of the service period multiplied by the number of years in the service period. 

Employees receiving relocation payments will be required to establish residence in their new geographic area, with agencies having to “define what constitutes the ‘new geographic area’ in relocation incentive service agreements.” 

The guidelines on retention bonuses require agencies to focus on succession planning. Agencies will need to consider the “availability of the potential sources of employees that are identified in the agency’s succession plan before authorizing a retention incentive.”  

The new rule is effective as of September 13.

Posted in General News

Tags: OPM, succession planning, 3R incentives, recruitment, retention, relocation, Office of Personnel Managemen

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