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NPR 9620.1A
Effective Date: May 17, 2017
Expiration Date: May 17, 2027
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: Payroll (Revalidated with Change 1)

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Financial Officer

| TOC | ChangeLog | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | Chapter8 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | ALL |

Chapter 6. Allowances And Other Special Entitlements

6.1 Overview

OPM provides Government-wide leadership by developing and maintaining regulations and policies on pay administration, including basic pay setting, locality pay, special pay rates, back pay, pay limitations, premium pay, grade and pay retention, severance pay, recruitment and relocation bonuses, retention allowances, and cost-of-living allowances. Each Federal agency is responsible for administering appropriate pay policies and programs for its own employees. Payroll allowances or other special entitlements will be properly authorized and documented by an appropriate form signed or electronically approved by a designated official.

6.2 Agency Requirements

6.2.1 Payroll system requirements for allowances and other special entitlements are:

a. Each allowance or special entitlement granted will be properly authorized and documented by an appropriate form signed or electronically approved by a designated official.

b. A record of each type of allowance or special entitlement granted will be maintained for each employee to show:

(1) The nature and type of each allowance or special entitlement granted.

(2) Any conditions related to the allowance or special entitlement.

(3) The period of time.

c. The dollar value of each allowance or special entitlement will be properly determined and promptly entered into the payroll system.

6.3 Various Types of Allowances and Special Entitlements

6.3.1 Back Pay. Under the provisions of Back Pay Due to Unjustified Personnel Action, 5 U.S.C. 5596, when an appropriate authority finds an employee was affected by an unjustified or unwarranted personnel action that resulted in the withdrawal, reduction, or denial of all or part of the pay, allowances, and differentials otherwise due the employee, the payment of back pay, interest, and reasonable attorney fees for the purpose of making the employee financially whole is authorized.

6.3.2 Environmental Differentials. Prevailing Rate Determinations; Wage Schedules; Night Differentials, 5 U.S.C. § 5343(c) (4) authorizes payment of an environmental differential, for prevailing rate employees (wage grade) when exposed to a working condition or hazard identified within one of the categories approved by OPM.

6.3.3 Hazard Pay Differential. Night, Standby, Irregular, and Hazardous Duty Differential, 5 U.S.C. § 5545(d), as amended, authorizes payment of differentials for duty involving unusual physical hardship or hazard to employees. Regulations governing hazard pay are contained in 5 CFR pt. 550, (General) subpt I-Pay for Duty Involving Physical Hardship or Hazard.

6.3.4 Monetary Awards. The payment of monetary awards to NASA employees will be processed only upon receipt of a properly approved authorization. Monetary awards will be included in the employee's regular salary payment. Incentive Contributions Board payments are only subject to Federal, state, and local taxes. Regarding the taxability of unpaid amounts for salary and monetary awards due decedents, see IRS Publication 599, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators.

6.3.5 Injury, Traumatic (Continuation of Pay). The FECA as amended (5 U.S.C. § 8101) provides compensation and authorized medical care for all civilian employees of the United States for disability due to personal injury sustained while in the performance of duty. Regulations governing injury compensation are contained in Claims for Compensation Under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, 20 CFR, pt. 10.

6.3.6 Locality-Based Comparability Payments. The percentage rate for the locality-based comparability adjustment will be paid to General Schedule employees whose official duty stations are identified annually by OPM in accordance with Locality-Based Comparability Payments, 5 U.S.C. § 5304. The duty station of the employee's position of record is as indicated on their most recent notification of personnel action.

6.3.7 Overseas Differentials and Allowances. Allowances and differentials for foreign posts of duty are authorized under the provisions of Allowances, 5 U.S.C. §§ 5921 - 5928. The NPO monitors and updates the Overseas Allowance.

6.3.8 Lump-sum Annual Leave Payments. In accordance with Lump-sum Payment for Accumulated and Accrued Leave on Separation, 5 U.S.C. § 5551, as amended, an employee who is separated from the Federal service or enters on active duty in the Armed Forces, is entitled to receive a lump-sum payment for accumulated and unused current accrued annual leave to which he or she is entitled by statute. In accordance with Lump-sum Payment for Accumulated and Accrued Leave on Entering Active Duty, 5 U.S.C. § 5552, as amended, employees who enter on active duty in the Armed Forces have the option to elect lump-sum payment for accumulated and unused accrued annual leave or to elect to have the leave remain to their credit until their return from active duty. However, any unused leave restored under Annual Leave, Accumulation, 5 U.S.C. § 6304(d) (1) may not be retained, but will be liquidated by lump-sum payment immediately, provided it is still available for use within the time limits prescribed by OPM regulations.

6.3.9 Overtime and Compensatory Time. Requests for overtime (OT) work will be ordered or approved by a properly designated official. The authorizing or approving official will be at least one-level senior to the official requesting approval. OT will be limited to cases of necessity. Refer to NPR 3530.1, NASA Pay and Compensation Policy, for details on OT pay. Original OT and compensatory time (CT) authorizations will be retained by the authorizing office or other control point for three years to substantiate pay. The original OT and CT authorizations are approved in the T&A system and should be available in the system as required for records retention and audits. OT pay for nonexempt FLSA employees will always be computed and paid under the FLSA, as provided in Pay Administration Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 5 CFR pt. 551. Under the FLSA provisions, hours in a paid nonworking status (i.e., such as "call back" time) will be deemed to be hours of work. CT will be paid in accordance with NPR 3530.1.

6.3.10 Payments during Evacuation. To the extent possible and practicable, during an evacuation, pay, leave, and other significant data will be sent from the evacuated Center to the safe-haven post as soon as possible after the evacuation order has been issued so they will be available to support further payments. To the extent possible and practical, employees remaining at the evacuated Centers will continue to be paid in accordance with normal fiscal procedures. Where normal procedures cannot be followed, the NPO, in consultation with Center and Headquarters management, will implement emergency processing procedures. This includes utilizing backup NASA Automated Data Processing Consolidation Center (NADPCC) facilities and emergency operating processes to pay personnel at evacuated locations.

6.3.11 Recruitment or Relocations Bonuses. In accordance with Recruitment and Relocation Bonuses, 5 U.S.C. § 5753, an amount up to 50 percent of an employee's rate of basic pay (excluding any comparability payments under 5 U.S.C. § 5304) may be paid, in a lump sum, to new appointees to assist in hiring highly qualified employees for difficult-to-fill positions or to current employees to assist in relocating highly qualified employees to different commuting areas for difficult-to-fill positions. Specific guidance on bonus eligibility and maximum bonus percentages is contained in NPR 3530.1.

6.3.12 Retention Allowance. In accordance with Retention of Bonuses, 5 U.S.C. § 5754, an amount up to 25 percent of an employee's rate of basic pay (excluding any comparability payments) may be paid, in the same manner and same time as basic pay, to a current employee to assist in retaining the employee for a key position based on the unusually high or unique qualifications of the employee or special needs of NASA for the employee's services. Payment of the allowance will be based on a written determination that in the absence of such allowance the employee would be likely to leave. A retention allowance is not considered a part of an employee's rate of basic pay for computing any additional pay or allowances or for any other purpose. Retention allowances are subject to income tax and Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes. Specific guidance on retention allowance eligibility and maximum bonus percentages is contained in NPR 3530.1

6.3.13 Severance Pay. The authority for payment of severance pay is contained in Severance Pay, 5 U.S.C. § 5595. Severance pay is authorized for employees who are involuntarily separated from Federal service, not by removal for cause on charges of misconduct, delinquency, or inefficiency, and meet other conditions of eligibility. Payment will be made biweekly based on the salary the employee would be paid if still employed.

6.3.14 Unemployment Compensation. 5 U.S.C. Ch. 85, as amended, provides for a program of unemployment compensation for unemployed Federal civilian employees. The Secretary of Labor is responsible for the general administration of the Unemployment Compensation for the Federal Employees program. State employment security agencies are responsible for determining entitlement to compensation and the amount of benefits payable to unemployed Federal civilian employees under the provisions of the applicable state unemployment insurance law. In accordance with Unemployment Compensation of Federal Civilian Employees, 20 CFR, pt. 609, the NPO and Center payroll offices will furnish appropriate information regarding the employee's rights and responsibilities. NASA's external payroll service provider will provide state employment security agencies with information concerning Federal service and Federal wages of an employee as necessary. This information will be used for the determination of the entitlement for compensation e.g, verification of the employee Federal service; the periods of Federal service; the amount of Federal wages; reasons for termination of Federal service) within four workdays after receipt of request from the state employment security agencies.

6.3.15 Uniform Allowance. In accordance with Uniform Allowances, 5 U.S.C. §§ 5901-5902, as amended, use of appropriated funds for the purpose of paying uniform allowances is authorized. The cost of uniforms, or the allowance to each eligible employee for acquisition of uniforms, may not exceed $400 a year.

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