Proposed rules lift restriction on student loan repayments

Wage grade employees would be eligible for a federal student loan repayment benefit under draft regulations issued Friday by the Office of Personnel Management. In 1990, Congress authorized agencies to repay their employees' student loans at their discretion to "recruit or retain highly qualified professional, technical or administrative personnel." OPM's proposed rules lift that restriction, making the benefit available to more than 400,000 non-postal, full-time executive branch employees who aren't paid under the General Schedule. About half of these employees are in wage grade positions. Language in the fiscal 2001 Defense authorization bill lifted the restriction on eligibility for the student loan repayment benefit. OPM initially published final regulations on the student loan benefit in the Federal Register in January, but those rules did not incorporate the new language allowing wage grade employees to participate. Friday's draft rules also require agencies to report annually to OPM on their use of the incentive for recruitment and retention purposes. In turn, OPM must report those findings to Congress. Agencies can pay up to $6,000 a year in student loan payments for each employee, but the total amount per employee cannot exceed $40,000. Employees who participate in the program must remain with the agency for at least three years. Employees who voluntarily leave government, or who are dismissed because of misconduct or poor performance, must reimburse the agency for loan payments made by the agency on their behalf. However, agencies have the discretion to waive that restriction. The comment period on the proposed regulations ends May 15. Written comments should be sent to:

Richard A. Whitford, Acting Associate Director for Employment
Office of Personnel Management, Room 6500
1900 E Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20415

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.