Department of Veterans Affairs
VA NOTICE 05-2
Washington, DC 20420 January 5, 2005
PHYSICIAN AND DENTIST SPECIAL PAY
1. The purpose of this Notice is to announce certain transition provisions of the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel Enhancement Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-445, dated December 3, 2004), which established a new pay system for physicians and dentists in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The new pay system will be effective January 8, 2006.
2. During this transition period, physicians and dentists will continue to receive special pay under the existing provisions contained in VA Handbook 5007, Part IX. However, receipt of special pay is no longer subject to a special pay agreement. All special pay agreements are terminated effective with the date of enactment; physicians and dentists who separate on or after December 3, 2004, are no longer subject to refund liability.
3. Since the Act provides that individuals will continue to receive special pay under the rules in VA Handbook 5007 until January 8, 2006, individuals who complete the necessary years of service will continue to receive increases in the tenure (length of service) component of special pay. However, increases in special pay that cause total pay to exceed the $190,000 pay limitation for the first time, or the amount previously authorized over $190,000, will continue to require the approval of the Under Secretary for Health in accordance with VA Handbook 5007, Part IX, paragraph 4c(2). Also, new hires will be entitled to receive special pay in the same manner as all other employees. The only difference is that special pay agreements are no longer required.
4. The existing 15-year service and 8-year phase-in rules for considering special pay as basic pay for the computation of a civil service retirement annuity will continue to apply during this transition period. Effective January 8, 2006, these rules will terminate and all special pay received under the former provisions will be creditable for retirement benefits.
5. The Workforce Information Systems Team (WIST) will process mass personnel actions to change follow-up code 24 for VHA physicians and dentists with existing special pay agreements. Do not delete the follow-up code as it will also delete the special pay amount. WIST will also issue PAID coding instructions for employees hired during this transition period.
6. VA policy implementing this new pay system is being developed and will be issued prior to the January 8, 2006, effective date.
7. RESCISSION: This Notice is rescinded January 8, 2006.
CERTIFIED BY: BY DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS:
/s/R. Allen Pittman Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration
/s/Robert N. McFarland Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology
ELECTRONIC DISTRIBUTION ONLY
If you have any further question please contact: M. J. Burke