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Impact of a Shutdown Furlough on Pay and Benefits

Pay

The furlough will not affect the scheduled pay dates for hours worked through October 1, 2013.  Employees will receive pay as scheduled on October 1, 2013 for Pay Period 20 (pay period ending September 21, 2013).  Employees will also receive pay as scheduled on October 15, 2013 for hours worked from September 22 through September 30, 2013 during Pay Period 21. 


In past furlough periods, employees who were furloughed were retroactively paid for the furlough period once funds were appropriated.  This was because of specific legislative authority to provide payment to furloughed employees for the unpaid furlough period.  Please note that there is no guarantee that authority will be granted to Federal agencies to allow retroactive payment to employees who are subject to the current furlough once funding is appropriated.  Congress will determine whether furloughed employees receive pay for the furlough period.

Leave and Other Paid Time Off

An employee may not use leave or other paid time off during a furlough period.


Leave Accruals – a full-time employee does not earn annual or sick leave during a pay period when he or she reaches 80 hours of nonpay time.

Employee Benefits and Service Credit

In most instances, nonpay time under short-term furlough will not have a negative impact on retirement or health and life insurance.  Nonpay status (which includes furlough, leave without pay, absence without leave, and suspension) is credited as follows:

  • Career Tenure – the first 30 calendar days of each nonpay period is creditable.
  • Probationary Period – 22 workdays in a nonpay status is creditable.
  • Qualifications – there is no requirement to extend qualifying periods by the amount of nonpay time.
  • Time-in-grade – nonpay status is creditable.
  • Retirement – up to 6 months service in a nonpay status per calendar year is creditable.
  • Health Benefits – enrollment continues for up to 365 days in a nonpay status.
  • Life Insurance – coverage continues for up to 12 consecutive months in a nonpay status.
  • Within Grade Increases – 2 workweeks nonpay status in a waiting period is creditable for advancement to steps 2, 3, and 4 of the General Schedule; 4 workweeks for advancement to steps 5, 6, and 7; and 6 workweeks for advancement to steps 8, 9, and 10.

Payments for benefits premiums will be made from an employee’s bi-weekly pay.  If pay is insufficient to make premium payments, coverage will continue and the employee may make payments once returned to a non-furlough status.

Updated: Friday, October 4, 2013