Creditable Service for Annual Leave Accruals
Newly appointed or reappointed employees covered under the Federal annual and sick leave program (established under chapter 63 of title 5, United States Code) may be given service credit for prior non-Federal experience that otherwise would not be creditable for the purpose of determining the biweekly annual leave accrual rate. This human resources flexibility is intended to assist agencies in recruiting individuals with the skills and experience necessary to achieve an important agency mission or performance goal
Service credit for annual leave accruals is applicable to an individual: (1) receiving his or her first appointment (regardless of tenure) as a civilian employee, or (2) being reappointed following a break in service of at least 90 calendar days from his or her last period of civilian Federal employment.
The series and occupations for which a bureau may approve credit for determining an employee’s annual leave accrual rate are limited to the Department’s mission critical occupations identified as part of its Human Capital Initiative in the Recruitment and Retention Plan as follows:
0110 – Economist
0201 – Human Resources Specialist
0301 - Miscellaneous Administrative and Program Management
0343 - Management Analyst
0482 - Fishery Biology
0500 - Accounting and Budget Group
0855 - Electronic Engineer
0905 – Attorney
1101 - General Business and Industry
1102 – Acquisition
1140 - Trade Specialist
1224 - Patent Examining
1301 - General Physical Science
1310 – Physics
1315 – Hydrology
1320 – Chemistry
1340 – Meteorology
1360 – Oceanography
1529 - Mathematical Statistician
1530 – Statistician
1550 - Computer Science
1801 - General Inspections, Investigations and Compliance
2210 - Information Technology Specialist
Service credit for determining annual leave accruals is not applicable to current Federal employees who were employed before April 28, 2005. Also, since the determination to credit prior non-Federal work experience for service credit for leave must be made before an employee enters on duty, human resources offices may not retroactively apply this provision.
Qualifying Non-Federal Work Experience
The skills and work experience the employee possesses must meet three basic requirements; they must: (1) be essential to the new position; (2) have been acquired through performance in a non-Federal position or a uniformed services position (if the employee is a retired member of a uniformed service) that directly relate to the duties of the position to which the employee is being appointed; and (3) be necessary to achieve an important agency mission or performance goal.
Qualifying Uniformed Service Experience
For non-retired members, full service credit for uniformed service (including active duty and active duty for training) performed under honorable conditions is given for annual leave accrual purposes.
For retirees, leave accrual service credit is given only for: (1) actual service during a war declared by Congress (includes World War II covering the period December 7, 1941, to April 28, 1952) or while participating in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized (for additional information see Vets Guide -- War Service Creditable for Veterans Preference); or (2) all active duty when retirement was based on a disability received as a direct result of armed conflict or caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war as defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(11). "Period of war" includes World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam era, the Persian Gulf War, or the period beginning on the date of any future declaration of war by the Congress and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution of the Congress.
In accordance with DAO 202-250, Delegation of Authority for Human Resources Management, Principal Human Resources Managers (PHRMs) have the delegated authority to certify that an employee’s prior non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service experience meets the eligibility requirements. PHRMs may delegate this authority to appropriate staff as necessary.
Effective Date for Crediting Non-Federal Work Experience
Employees receive credit for non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service upon the effective date of initial appointment or reappointment to the Federal service.
Amount of Service Credit
The amount of credit for non-Federal service or active duty in the uniformed service may not exceed the actual amount of service during which the employee performed duties directly related to the position to which the employee is being appointed. In accordance with the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, Chapter 6, Subchapter 1, a qualifying employee will receive one (1) day credit for each full day or part-time day of service.
Maintaining Creditable Service
Service credit based on the prior non-Federal or active duty uniformed service remains creditable for annual leave purposes unless the employee fails to complete one (1) full year of continuous service with the appointing agency. If an employee separates from Federal service or transfers to a Federal agency outside of the Department (not a bureau) prior to completing the full year of continuous service, the employee is not entitled to retain the service credit. In this case, the additional service credit earned based on prior non-Federal work experience must be subtracted from the employee’s total creditable service. A new service computation date (SCD) for leave must be computed and established before the employee’s separation or transfer.
Once an employee is permanently credited with a period of non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service (after completion of the full continuous year with the appointing agency), that period of service may not be considered for further credit if the employee has a future break in service.
Loss of Creditable Service
An employee who loses service credit for prior non-Federal service or uniformed service and is subsequently reappointed to a Federal position, may receive credit for that same period of non-Federal or active duty uniformed service, if he/she meets all the conditions for receiving such credit. Annual leave accrued and accumulated as a result of receiving credit for non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service remains to the credit of the employee, even if the employee fails to complete the full year of continuous service.
Effect of Non-Pay Status
The amount of creditable service is not affected by periods of non-pay status (i.e., leave without pay, absence without leave, furlough, etc.). The completion date of the one (1) full year of continuous service must be extended for periods of non-pay status. Any period of non-pay status due to active duty uniformed service or a compensable injury must be credited as though the employee had remained in a pay and duty status.
An employee must provide written documentation to the hiring human resources office (HRO) outlining the non-Federal or uniformed service work experience that is directly related to the duties of the position to which the employee is being appointed. HRO’s must file and maintain written documentation justifying the use of this flexibility to include (at a minimum):
The skills and experiences the employee possesses that are essential to the new position and the duties the employee performed in the non-Federal position or uniformed service that are directly related to the duties of the position to which the employee is being appointed.
- Written documentation for the military services to obtain service credit for the uniformed services.
- Why the use of this authority is necessary to achieve an important agency mission or
- The inclusive dates of the period of time covering the experience to be credited
- A copy of the position description or statement of duties the employee is expected to perform.
Bureau HROs may require additional documentation to justify and or document the conditions (e.g., a service agreement, etc.) of the service credit.
Personnel Action Documentation
HROs must document non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service on Standard Form (SF) 144A, Statement of Prior Federal Service, and include a reference in the "Remarks" section indicating that the SCD-Leave includes creditable non-Federal service or active duty uniformed service work experience that otherwise would not be credited. The period of non-Federal or active duty uniformed service being credited to the employee must be included in Block 31 (Service Computation Date) of the SF 50, Notification of Personnel Action, upon appointment with the agency.
HRO’s are required to notify timekeepers of an employee’s creditable service and provide the timekeeper with the SCD adjusted to include the service credit. The SCD must be entered on the Employee T&A Profile Screen in the SCD field of the webTA application.