Transferring to another agency

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Q: How long can my current agency retain me when I have accepted a position with a different agency? I accepted a position at the same grade but at a different series. My new/gaining agency has requested a release date 17 days in the future, meaning I will remain with my current agency for the next full pay period. However, my current agency has requested that I remain in place for 31 days, which is two pay periods. This is unacceptable to me and is being done out of spite. An HR specialist in my current agency indicated that this was permissible because it is a lateral-grade position. However, a friend that is an HR supervisor in another agency informed me that two weeks notice is the maximum amount of time my current agency can retain me, because it is not a transfer within the agency, but to an external agency. I have asked the HR specialist to provide me with the OPM reg that allows my current agency to retain me for 30 days. After two days, she indicated she is still researching it. I have scoured the OPM site and I have found nothing.

A: I’m not aware of any regulation that sets a specific time period between when one accepts a position at another agency and leaves his or her former agency. By convention, it is worked out between the two agencies. While it can be as little as one pay period where a promotion is involved, it may also be longer, but rarely more than two pay periods unless the employee is needed to complete an important assignment.

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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

5 Comments

  1. What is the actual code of federal regulation that would apply to the question listed above:
    or “An HR specialist in my current agency indicated that this was permissible because it is a lateral-grade position. However, a friend that is an HR supervisor in another agency informed me that two weeks notice is the maximum amount of time my current agency can retain me, because it is not a transfer within the agency, but to an external agency. I have asked the HR specialist to provide me with the OPM reg that allows my current agency to retain me for 30 days. After two days, she indicated she is still researching it. I have scoured the OPM site and I have found nothing.”

    • I finally got an answer from OPM. Here it is:
      “OPM does not regulate or provide guidance on the release of employees selected for positions in other agencies. The losing and gaining agencies are responsible for negotiating on the release of the employee.”

  2. I am a 30% or more disabled vet, VEOA and VRA eligible and also holding a schedule A. I am currently federally employed but have only been with this agency 90 days. I have been offered a position in another agency at a higher grade but was told I have to finish my 52 weeks in order to move. My question is: Can I apply for the other federal job with my schedule A and bypass the time in grade requirement? Since they wont have to advertise, and they have offered me the position when I am able to get away, this will be easiest for all involved. I am currently on 1 year probation career conditional.

  3. yes, but what about the ability to move to a higher grade without the 52 weeks time in grade? will the schedule A allow me to stay a federal employee and move to a higher grade, bypassing the time in grade requirement or will I have to start from scratch and lose all prior federal time?

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