Release of employees


Q. I’m getting mixed advice about 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 human resources specialist to provide me with the Office of Personnel Management regulation 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. Can you clear this up for me?

A. I checked with OPM. Here is their answer:

“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.”


About Author

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


  1. At my agency the rule of thumb is one complete pay period if you are getting a promotion; and two pay periods (or a month) if you are taking a lateral. Exceptions are frequent.

  2. There are no rules on this at all. Standard practices yes but no rules. An employee could resign on a Saturday, end of pay period and then and be picked up the next day with no break in service if the agency refusing to release and the employee wants to leave.

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