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HRDG 4500 - Recruitment and Retention Incentives - Section C

Subchapter 4500 - Recruitment and Retention Incentives
Section C - Pay Advances to New Appointees



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Amount that May Be Advanced

You may make an advance payment of basic pay, in one or more installments covering not more than two pay periods, to any employee who requests the payment if the employee is entering the Federal civilian service for the first time or is returning to Federal employment after a break in service of 90 days or more (5 CFR 550.201 and 202).

The maximum amount of pay you may advance:

  • Will be based on the rate of basic pay to which the employee is entitled on the date of his/her appointment with the agency, and
  • Will be reduced by the exact amount of any applicable allotments or deductions from pay.
Definition of Rate of Basic Pay Rate of basic pay means the rate of pay fixed by law or administrative action for the position held by an employee, including annual premium pay 5 USC 5545 [c]), availability pay (5 USC 5545 [c]), or night differential for prevailing rate employees (5 USC 5343 [f]), (5 CFR 550.202).
Instances When Advances May Not Be Made

An advance in pay may not be made:

  • To an employee before the date of his/her appointment with the agency or later than 60 days after the date of appointment.
  • Under this provision to any employee who will receive, within two weeks of the date of appointment, an advance in pay under 5 U.S.C. 5927 upon assignment to a post in a foreign area.
Process for Making Pay Advances

If your employee wants to request advance payment of basic pay, the following process should be followed:





Your employee requests an advance in pay S/he submits Form MRP 146-R, Statement of Understanding, directly to the manager with authority to approve the payment.


Request is approved The employee's supervisor activates payment by sending documentation of approval to the SPO.


Payment has been made The SPO will maintain a copy of the information required in "Records" below.
Approval Authority

Authority to approve an advance payment of basic pay is delegated to the level of supervision consistent with the authority to take personnel actions (e.g., make final, firm offers of employment, remove). MRP programs may choose to retain this authority at higher levels.

Repayment Your employee must sign an MRP Form 146-R, Statement of Understanding, agreeing to repay the advance within a maximum of 14 pay periods beginning with the date the advance payment is made (5 CFR.205 [b]). Repayment of the advanced pay may be waived under 5 USC 5524a on a case-by-case basis when the Administrator/Deputy Administrator (or his/her designee) determines, using his/her discretion, that recovery of the advance payment would be against equity and good conscience or against the public interest (5 CFR 550.206).
Waiver Authority

MRP Administrators have delegated the authority to waive the repayment of an advance payment of basic pay of $1500 and less, to:

  • Assistant HR Officer, Human Resources Operations (HRO), Riverdale/Minneapolis, and
  • Assistant HR Officer, Riverdale /Washington.

Note: This authority may not be further re-delegated. (USDA memo dated April 7, 1997, from Irwin T. David, CFO, USDA, to Heads of Departmental Agencies. Subject: Authority to Waive Erroneous Overpayments of Pay and Allowances.)

MRP Administrators retain the authority to waive repayment of an advance payment of basic pay of more than $1500.

Typically, requests for salary waivers will be forwarded to the Servicing Personnel Office (SPO) for review, analysis and recommended case disposition.

Updated 10/20

In addition to the record requirements on the Records/Reports Chart in Section A, The HRO also must maintain the following information:

  • Employee Name
  • Organizational Title
  • City, County, State of Official Duty Station
  • Appointment Date
  • Position Title, Series , Grade & Step
  • Annual (Starting) Salary
  • Copy of Signed Justification
  • Name of Authorizing Official
  • Date of Authorization
  • Position Title of Authorizing Official
  • Amount of Pay Advanced.
  • Amount of Repayment Waived (if applicable).
  • Reason(s) for Waiver of Repayment (if applicable).
  • Copy of Form MRP 146-R

Note: Programs submit above information to the SPO within 60 calendar days.

Records may be destroyed by the SPO two (2) years after the employee separates or retires . Longer retention is permitted if required for business use. (See:

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