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General Information

Current members of the Reemployed Annuitant Cadre can obtain general program information and responses to frequently asked questions, including travel, time management and awards. For additional information, please email: ceco-c-rao-ms@usace.army.mil
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Travel

Are Reemployed Annuitants (RAs) required to travelA requirement of the program is that RAs must be available to travel when needed.  Since the primary purpose of the Reemployed Annuitant program is to provide support in the event of disasters (natural or manmade) such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, RAs are often required to travel to the disaster sites or supporting offices.  If your home is at a location remote from a disaster or support site, you will be required to travel if you want to work.  If your home is located within commuting distance you will be able commute if you are selected to work.  Similarly, for non-disaster deployment, some RAs work near their residences and are able to commute, while others must travel on a TDY basis to remote worksites. 

How much advance notice is given when travel is required?  The amount of advance notice depends on the circumstances.  In the event of a disaster, quick response is often critical, so those employees who are immediately available are most likely to be selected for deployment.   In some cases employees travel within 2-3 days of being notified.  Those identified as first responders may travel with even less notice.  In other situations, where a quick response isn’t critical, longer notices are given.

Are RAs reimbursed for Travel expenses?  If an RA is working at a location remote from their home, they will be compensated for travel expenses in accordance with the Joint Travel Regulations and the Reemployed Annuitant Office Standard Operating Procedures.  This typically consists of travel expenses (the cost of airline tickets for reservations made through the authorized travel agency, vehicle mileage, etc.), per diem and housing (based on the location of the job), rental car expenses (if a rental car is authorized) and some miscellaneous expenses such as taxi, parking and laundry expenses.

Are RAs issued a government credit card to be used for official Corps travel related expenses:  Yes.  All RAs are offered the opportunity and encouraged to apply for a government travel card.  The travel card can to be used for business travel related expenses such as airfare, hotel expenses, rental car expenses (if a rental car is authorized), meals, and some other travel related expenses.  RAs however, are not required to have a government travel card.

Who prepares travel orders and how are they issued?  All Reemployed Annuitant travel orders are prepared by the RA Office support staff and issued via email. Travel instructions and related travel forms will accompany the travel orders.  RAs must have travel orders in hand before traveling. 

Who makes travel and hotel reservations? Travel reservations (airline tickets and car rental) are made through the Carlson Wagonlit Travel Agency (1-800-953-7286) or email them at vcccoe@cwtsatotravel.com . No other travel agency is authorized to make travel arrangements nor can a traveler make arrangements for him or herself.  Hotel arrangements can be made by the traveler or through Carlson Wagonlit.  The hotel rate is limited to the maximum housing rate for the travel location, unless prior approval for a higher rate is obtained (must be in travel orders).   In some circumstances, such as after a severe disaster, housing may be in short supply so arrangements are often made by an on-site Recovery Field Office (RFO) representative.

Is there a limit to the length that Travel Orders can be issued for?  Yes.  TDY Orders are limited to 179 consecutive days at one location.  After 179 consecutive days have been completed RAs must wait 7 months before they can go TDY to the same location again. 

Travel Vouchers

How are Reemployed Annuitants reimbursed for travel expenses?  They are required to prepare a SF 1351-2 (Travel Voucher or Subvoucher form) and reimbursement is through direct deposit.

.How do Reemployed Annuitants get the Travel Voucher and Subvoucher form?  RAs receive manual and electronic travel voucher forms as part of the travel package received with travel orders. 

What travel expenses are allowable?  Only official travel related expenses will be reimbursed using a travel voucher. Typical expenses include, but are not limited to: plane, bus, and train fare; personal vehicle mileage (if authorized); rental car costs (if authorized – must be compact size unless authorized in orders); taxi, bus, and subway fees; hotel costs; parking, laundry (must be TDY a minimum of 4 consecutive days); etc. Other fees, such as for additional baggage may also be authorized but must be on your travel orders.  Contact a member of the RA Office Support Staff if there is any doubt concerning whether an expense is authorized (tel. 352-685-6018 or email ceco-c-rao-travel@usace.army.mil).

How often should travel vouchers be filed?   A travel voucher should be prepared and filed every 14 days during deployment (unless on repeated travel orders) and/or within 5 days after completing a TDY assignment and returning to home of record.  All travel vouchers (including the final travel voucher) and supporting documents (airline itinerary, lodging receipts and receipts for reimbursable items for more than $75) are to be faxed or emailed to the RA Office (Fax: 202-315-3516; email: ceco-c-rao-travel@usace.army.mil) for processing. Please note that all receipts for travel related expenses are required when FEMA is involved. Do not send the original documents (retain in your records). Although not required, except for FEMA related travel, it is recommended that you include all receipts regardless of the dollar value.

 

All Reemployed Annuitant travel vouchers are subject to audit once a disbursement is processed. Travel voucher audits are typically performed several months after the settlement is paid. Reemployed Annuitants are subject to billing for any amount paid that is not in accordance with the Joint Travel Regulations or is outside the approved limitations established by the travel orders.

How are Reemployed Annuitant pay grades determined?   All Reemployed Annuitant (RA) positions are classified as General Schedule (GS) or Wage Grade (WG) positions.  There are no WS, WD, Special Power Rate, or other type of Wage positions in the Reemployed Annuitant Cadre (RAC).  RAs are appointed to an official position and at the level determined to be most appropriate for the work to be performed by the RA.  The position and pay offered is set in consideration of the individual qualifications and experience, including recentness of experience, as related to the needs of the program and USACE missions.  There is no guarantee that the pay level offered will equal the pay of pre-retirement positions. The RAC Program Manager establishes the GS occupational series, grade and step using applicable regulations and guidance. WG grades and pay are established in accordance with appropriate wage regulations.

 

How often are RAs paid?  Just like other USACE employees, RAs are paid on a bi-weekly basis when deployed and must receive their pay through direct deposit. 

What is withheld from RA’s paychecks?  Federal Income Tax, State Inome Tax (where applicable), Social Security and Medicare.

 

How is time reported during deployment?  RAs are provided time sheets as part of their deployment package.  Time sheets are to be filled out on a daily basis and at the end of the pay period signed by both the employee and field supervisor and faxed to 202-315-3464 or scanned and emailed to ceco-c-rao-time@usace.army.mil.

 

Are their maximum earnings limitations?  RAs are subject to all pay laws, rules and regulations as determined by the classification of their official position and intermittent work schedule. This includes the following maximum earnings limitations. 

  • Bi-Weekly Maximum Earnings Limitation – GS RAs are subject to the bi-weekly maximum earnings limitation on pay, which provides that premium pay (e.g. overtime) cannot cause the bi-weekly pay to exceed that equivalent to a GS-15 step 10 (including any applicable locality-based comparability payment) or Executive Level V, whichever is greater. A waiver of the bi-weekly pay cap may be authorized by the head of the agency or designee in certain emergency or other critical situations.  A bi-weekly waiver is not automatic and must be authorized in writing for the specific event.
  • Annual Maximum Earnings Limitation – GS RAs are subject to the annual maximum earnings limitation not to exceed that of a GS-15 Step 10 (including any applicable locality-based comparability payment) or Executive Level V, whichever is greater.  More detailed information is available in 5 CFR 550.106. No waiver is available to program participants for this limitation.
  • Aggregate Maximum Earnings Limitation – All employees, including those that received a waiver of the bi-weekly pay cap, are subject to the aggregate maximum earnings limitation not to exceed the rate of pay for level I of the Executive Service at the end of the calendar year in accordance with  5 CFR 530.20. No waiver is available to program participants for this limitation.

 

Are Reemployed Annuitants subject to all standard requirements and conditions of Federal employment?  Yes.  Reemployed Annuitants are subject to all standard requirements and conditions of Federal employment such as Safety, Standards of Conduct, Ethics, Employee Accountability during Emergencies, etc. as well as related training unless specifically excepted.  Harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment is prohibited.

Can an RA remain in the RAC while working as a contractor or as a member of the FEMA CORE program?  RAs may not remain in the Reemployed Annuitant program if employed as a contractor or as a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) “Cadre On-Call Response Employees (CORE)” program, unless the applicant or employee can demonstrate that there is no possibility of conflict of interest with the work of the Reemployed Annuitant Cadre.  To request such consideration, the applicant or RA must provide the RA Office Program Manager (PM) with full information regarding the contract or FEMA work.  Each case will be evaluated and decided on an individual basis by the RA Office PM.

Why is the official duty station of all members of the Reemployed Annuitant Cadre Walla Walla, Washington?  The official duty station of all RAs is Walla Walla, Washington for pay consistency purposes.  All RAs receive the pay rate, annual cost of living and locality pay increases for Walla Walla regardless of where they live or are deployed.  RAs will not travel to Walla Walla, unless there is a specific reason for deployment to that location.

RAPIDS Site Locator website:  www.dmdc.osd.mil/rsl

What is a Common Access Card (CAC)?  It is the official DoD Federal identification credential required for access to federally controlled facilities and information systems.

 

Are RAs required to have a CAC?  Yes. All RAs must obtain and maintain a current civilian employee CAC in order to be deployed, and must carefully safeguard it, even when not deployed.

 

How are CACs obtained?  An e-mail explaining the procedures for obtaining a CAC is sent to each RA’s personal e-mail address when they become members of the RAC.  This e-mail explains the steps required to obtain a CAC and provides the website address of the Rapids Site Locator (www.dmdc.osd.mil/rsl).  The Rapids Site Locator shows the location of the nearest CAC issuing facility, provides hours of operation, phone number, etc.).  It is important to call in advance to insure that the facility will be open.   

 

Are retiree or contractor CACs acceptable for the Reemployed Annuitant Program?  No.  The CAC must be a “Civilian Employee” CAC, must indicate that the agency is “Army” and must have a gold computer chip.

 

What Certificates are required for the CAC to be functional?  The following certificates are required for the CAC to be accepted in the Corps network.

  • US signature - AKO E-Mail
  • Government ID
  • Encryption

 

Is there anything that needs to be done after the CAC has been obtained?  Yes.  Email ceco-c-rao-cac@usace.army.mil or phone 202-286-1535 and provide the following information:  RA’s full name and the CAC expiration date (mm/dd/yyyy – located just below the picture).

 

Should an RA notify the RAO support staff if the CAC is lost, damaged or stolen?  Yes.  Email ceco-c-rao-cac@usace.army.mil or phone 202-286-1535.

 

Should the CAC be replaced if it is lost, damaged or stolen?  Yes.  It should be replaced as soon as practical.  RAs cannot deploy without a fully functional CAC

 

Should the CAC be surrendered when an assignment has been completed?  No.  It will only be surrendered when employment in the RAC program ends.   Note – if an employee leaves the RAC to take another Corps of Engineers civilian appointment he/she may retain the CAC. The CAC is to be used for official business only.

How is the CAC disposed of when employment with the RAC ends?  Instructions will be provided by the RAC support staff.

 

Do CACs need to be renewed periodically?  Yes, they must be renewed every three years.  The expiration of the CAC is located in the upper right hand corner of the CAC

 

AKO

Are RAC employees required to have an Army Knowledge Online (AKO) account?  Yes, it must be set up before a CAC can be obtained.

  • Go to https://www.us.army.mil
  • Click “I Accept” when the AKO website comes up.
  • Click “I don’t have a CAC/PIV
  • Click “Create Account” in “New to AKO?  Sign up” and follow the instructions.  When you are asked to enter your Pay Entry Base Date (PEBD), that is the recomputed SCD from the New SF-50 (block 31). If a new form SF-50, Personnel Action, has not been received, it will be sent to you within the next 2 weeks. The address you should use for the work address is: USACE, 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20314-1000.  Use your own telephone number.  You do not need to input a fax or dsn number.

If you have problems logging into the above web site, please call the AKO help Desk at 1-866-335-2769.

 

All RAs must establish an Army Knowledge on Line (AKO) account, either as an Army Civilian Retiree or as a sponsored new employee, so that the AKO information can be coded onto the civilian employee CAC. 

Are Reemployed Annuitants (RAs) required to have a personal email account to be a member of the Reemployed Annuitant Cadre (RAC)?  Yes.  All RAs must have a readily accessible personal email address to be considered for RAC employment and to remain employed with the RAC.  A personal email address is required because all communication for deployment purposes, medical recertification and most other communication is accomplished through home email accounts.

 

What kind of email account is required?  It must be a primary, active account and not use filters to block mail from the Reemployed Annuitant Office.  If you do not already have a personal email account, one can easily be set up through a free web-based provider such as Yahoo, Hotmail, G-Mail, etc.  The email address should reflect professionalism and, if possible, include the employee’s name, so it is easily recognizable by the RA Office staff.  All RAs must have his/her own email account. The account may not be shared with someone else.  It is the responsibility of all RA’s to check email regularly for messages pertaining to the RAC. 

 

Are RAs required to provide a phone number and current home address?  Yes.  RAs are required to provide an active telephone number (home and cell if available) and current home address. 

 

How can address, telephone number and email address changes be reported?  Changes should be reported in a timely manner by one of the following methods:

 

Email – ceco-c-rao-ms@usace.army.mil

Phone – 202-286-1535  

FAX – 202-318-4447. 

 

Failure to maintain current contact information will result in termination from the program.

Are RAs required to have certain immunizations?  RAs deployed to disaster or field locations must comply with immunization requirements as directed at the time of deployment and are responsible for making arrangements to obtain immunizations prior to deployment.  TDP (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) and hepatitis A are required.  Other immunizations may be required based on the deployment location and conditions.  RAs are responsible for all medical costs associated with required immunizations.  It is the responsibility of each RA to insure that immunizations are current and to take immunization records with them on all assignments.

Can Reemployed Annuitants be given Awards?  Yes, exemplary service for a supported organization may be recognized through the appropriate awards program.

Does the Reemployed Annuitant Cadre deploy members directly to Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)?  No, the RAO does not deploy members directly to OCO, due to the specialized requirements of that program.  RAs wishing to deploy in support of OCO must be separated from the RAO rolls in order to be picked up on OCO rolls.  After OCO deployment, individuals may request to be returned to RAO rolls, by reapplying after a break in service of at least 3 calendar days.