Under 5 CFR 575 subpart E, agencies may pay an extended assignment incentive (EAI) to certain employees to assist in retaining experienced, well-trained employees in certain locations for a longer period than the employee’s initial tour of duty. An employee who meets the definition of “employee” under 5 U.S.C. 2105, including employees in general schedule positions, senior-level and senior scientific or technical positions, Senior Executive Service positions, and prevailing rate positions, is generally eligible to receive an EAI.

An agency may provide such an incentive if:


  • the employee has completed at least two years of continuous service in one or more civil service position located in a given territory or possession of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;
  • the agency determines that replacing the employee with another employee possessing the required qualifications and experience would be difficult; and
  • the agency determines that it is in the best interest of the government to encourage the employee to complete a specified additional period of employment with the agency in one of the covered locations.

Before an employee may be paid an EAI, the employee must sign a written service agreement to complete a specified period of additional employment with the agency in one of the covered locations. In addition, the service agreement must specify the amount of the incentive payment, the method of paying the incentive, the conditions under which an agreement may be terminated, the requirements and procedures for the repayment of incentive payments if the employee separates prior to the completion of the service period, and any other terms and conditions for receiving and retaining the EAI payments.

An EAI may not exceed the greater of: 25 percent of the annual rate of basic pay (excluding additional pay of any kind) of the employee at the beginning of the service period times the number of years in the service period; or $15,000 per year in the service period.

An EAI is not considered part of an employee’s rate of basic pay for any purpose.