U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jan 25, 2021
(a) When an appropriate authority corrects or directs the correction of 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 an employee -
(1) The employee shall be deemed to have performed service for the agency during the period covered by the corrective action; and
(2) The agency shall compute for the period covered by the corrective action the pay, allowances, and differentials the employee would have received if the unjustified or unwarranted personnel action had not occurred.
(b) No employee shall be granted more pay, allowances, and differentials under section 5596 of title 5, United States Code, and this subpart than he or she would have been entitled to receive if the unjustified or unwarranted personnel action had not occurred.
(c) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, in computing the amount of back pay under section 5596 of title 5, United States Code, and this subpart, an agency may not include -
(1) Any period during which an employee was not ready, willing, and able to perform his or her duties because of an incapacitating illness or injury; or
(2) Any period during which an employee was unavailable for the performance of his or her duties for reasons other than those related to, or caused by, the unjustified or unwarranted personnel action.
(d) In computing the amount of back pay under section 5596 of title 5, United States Code, and this subpart, an agency shall grant, upon request of an employee, any sick or annual leave available to the employee for a period of incapacitation if the employee can establish that the period of incapacitation was the result of illness or injury.
(e) In computing the net amount of back pay payable under section 5596 of title 5, United States Code, and this subpart, an agency must make the following offsets and deductions (in the order shown) from the gross back pay award:
(1) Any outside earnings (gross earnings less any associated business losses and ordinary and necessary business expenses) received by an employee for other employment (including a business enterprise) undertaken to replace the employment from which the employee was separated by the unjustified or unwarranted personnel action during the interim period covered by the corrective action. Do not count earnings from additional or “moonlight” employment the employee may have engaged in while Federally employed (before separation) and while erroneously separated.
(2) Any erroneous payments received from the Government as a result of the unjustified or unwarranted personnel action, which, in the case of erroneous payments received from a Federal employee retirement system, must be returned to the appropriate system. Such payments must be recovered from the back pay award in the following order:
(i) Retirement annuity payments (i.e., gross annuity less deductions for life insurance and health benefits premiums, if those premiums can be recovered by the affected retirement system from the insurance carrier);
(ii) Refunds of retirement contributions (i.e., gross refund before any deductions);
(iii) Severance pay (i.e., gross payments before any deductions); and
(iv) A lump-sum payment for annual leave (i.e., gross payment before any deductions).
(3) Authorized deductions of the type that would have been made from the employee's pay (if paid when properly due) in accordance with the normal order of precedence for deductions from pay established by the agency, subject to any applicable law or regulation, including, but not limited to, the following types of deductions, as applicable:
(i) Mandatory employee retirement contributions toward a defined benefit plan, such as the Civil Service Retirement System or the defined benefit component of the Federal Employees Retirement System;
(ii) Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes;
(iii) Health benefits premiums, if coverage continued during a period of erroneous retirement (with paid premiums recoverable by the retirement system) or is retroactively reinstated at the employee's election under 5 U.S.C. 8908(a);
(iv) Life insurance premiums if -
(A) Coverage continued during a period of erroneous retirement;
(B) Coverage was stopped during an erroneous suspension or separation and the employee suffered death or accidental dismemberment during that period (consistent with 5 U.S.C. 8706(d)); or
(C) Additional premiums are owed because of a retroactive increase in basic pay; and
(v) Federal income tax withholdings.
See appendix A to this subpart for additional information on computing certain deductions.
(4) Administrative offsets under 31 U.S.C. 3716 to recover any other outstanding debt(s) owed to the Federal Government by the employee, as appropriate.
(f) For the purpose of computing the amount of back pay under paragraph (e) of this section, interest shall be included in the amount from which deductions for erroneous payments are made, as required by § 550.805(e)(2) of this part.
(g) An agency shall credit annual leave restored to an employee as a result of the correction of an unjustified or unwarranted personnel action in excess of the maximum leave accumulation authorized by law to a separate leave account for use by the employee. The employee shall schedule and use annual leave in such a separate leave account as follows:
(1) A full-time employee shall schedule and use excess annual leave of 416 hours or less by the end of the leave year in progress 2 years after the date on which the annual leave is credited to the separate account. The agency shall extend this period by 1 leave year for each additional 208 hours of excess annual leave or any portion thereof.
(2) A part-time employee shall schedule and use excess annual leave in an amount equal to or less than 20 percent of the employee's scheduled tour of duty over a period of 52 calendar weeks by the end of the leave year in progress 2 years after the date on which the annual leave is credited to the separate account. The agency shall extend this period by 1 leave year for each additional number of hours of excess annual leave, or any portion thereof, equal to 10 percent of the employee's scheduled tour of duty over a period of 52 calendar weeks.
(h) Agencies must correct errors that affect an employee's Thrift Savings Plan account consistent with regulations prescribed by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. (See parts 1605 and 1606 of this title.)