Is a Federal Physician with a PCA subject to a 6-month penalty if retiring from service mid-cycle

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My salary includes a PCA (Physician’s Comparability Allowance) to be included in my FERS retirement calculations. I will be retiring at two years into the final four year cycle. I have been informed by my AO that I will need to return six-months of this bonus as a penalty for early departure. Is this correct? I have seen no mention of this elsewhere in any federal retirement literature.

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Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 1)
Asked on August 28, 2019 6:22 pm
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Bottom line is yes you can owe a refund. Here is what OPM states and I have included the link for the entire document below.
Service Agreements
Any service agreement entered into by a physician must be for a period of 1 year of service in the agency involved unless the physician requests an agreement for a longer period of service. Each service agreement must prescribe the terms under which the agreement may be terminated and the amount of the PCA, if any, required to be refunded by the physician for each reason for termination. For a service agreement covering a period of service of more than 1 year, the service agreement must include a provision that, if the physician completes more than 1 year of service, but fails to complete the full period of service specified in the agreement either voluntarily or because of misconduct by the physician, the physician must refund the amount of allowance he or she has received under the agreement for the 26 weeks of service immediately preceding the termination (or for a longer period, if specified in the agreement).
https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/pay-administration/fact-sheets/physicians-comparability-allowances/

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Posted by (Questions: 0, Answers: 518)
Answered on August 28, 2019 7:52 pm
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Thank you!!
This is extremely helpful.

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Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 1)
Answered on August 28, 2019 8:34 pm