2 USC 60c-5 - Student loan repayment program for Senate employees
Sec. 60c-5. Student loan repayment program for Senate employees(a)
In this section:
The term "eligible employee" means an individual—
(A) who is an employee of the Senate; and
(B) whose rate of pay as an employee of the Senate, on the date on which such eligibility is determined, does not exceed the rate of basic pay for an employee for a position at ES–1 of the Senior Executive Schedule as provided for in subchapter VIII of chapter 53 of title 5 (including any locality pay adjustment applicable to the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Maryland consolidated metropolitan statistical area).
Employee of the Senate
The term "employee of the Senate" has the meaning given the term in section 1301 of this title.
The term "employing office" means the employing office, as defined in section 1301 of this title, of an employee of the Senate.
The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Senate.
The term "student loan" means—
(A) a loan made, insured, or guaranteed under part B, D, or E of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1071 et seq., 1087a et seq., or 1087aa et seq.); and
(B) a health education assistance loan made or insured under part A of title VII of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 292 et seq.), or under part E of title VIII of such Act (42 U.S.C. 297a et seq.).
Senate student loan repayment program
The head of an employing office and an eligible employee may enter into a written service agreement under which—
(i) the employing office shall agree to repay, by direct payments on behalf of the eligible employee, any student loan indebtedness of the eligible employee that is outstanding at the time the eligible employee and the employing office enter into the agreement, subject to this section; and
(ii) the eligible employee shall agree to complete the 1-year required period of employment described in subsection (c)(1) of this section with the employing office in exchange for the student loan payments.
Contents of service agreements
A service agreement under this paragraph shall contain—
(I) the start and end dates of the required period of employment covered by the agreement;
(II) the monthly amount of the student loan payments to be provided by the employing office;
(III) the employee’s agreement to reimburse the Senate under the conditions set forth in subsection (d)(1) of this section;
(IV) disclosure of the program limitations provided for in subsection (d)(4) of this section and paragraphs (2), (3), (6), and (7) of subsection (f) of this section;
(V) other terms to which the employing office and employee agree (such as terms relating to job responsibilities or job performance expectations); and
(VI) any other terms prescribed by the Secretary.
(ii) Standard service agreements
The Secretary shall establish standard service agreements for employing offices to use in carrying out this section.
Submission of agreements
On entering into a service agreement under this section, the employing office shall submit a copy of the service agreement to the Secretary.
Period of employment
The term of the required period of employment under a service agreement under this section shall be 1 year. On completion of the required period of employment under such a service agreement, the eligible employee and the employing office may enter into additional service agreements for successive 1-year periods of employment.
Amount of payments
The amount of student loan payments made under service agreements under this section on behalf of an eligible employee may not exceed—
(i) $500 in any month; or
(ii) a total of $40,000.
Payments included in gross compensation limitations
Any student loan payment made under this section in any month may not result in the sum of the payment and the compensation of an employee for that month exceeding 1/12th of the applicable annual maximum gross compensation limitation under section 61–1 (d)(2), (e), or (f) of this title.
Timing of payments
Student loan payments made under this section under a service agreement shall begin the first day of the pay period after the date on which the agreement is signed and received by the Secretary, and shall be made on a monthly basis.
Loss of eligibility for student loan payments and obligation to reimburse
An employee shall not be eligible for continued student loan payments under a service agreement under this section and (except in a case in which an employee’s duty is terminated under paragraph (2) or an employing office assumes responsibilities under paragraph (3)) shall reimburse the Senate for the amount of all student loan payments made on behalf of the employee under the agreement, if, before the employee completes the required period of employment specified in the agreement—
(A) the employee voluntarily separates from service with the employing office;
(B) the employee engages in misconduct or does not maintain an acceptable level of performance, as determined by the head of the employing office; or
(C) the employee violates any condition of the agreement.
Termination of agreement
The duty of an eligible employee to fulfill the required period of employment under the service agreement shall be terminated if—
(A) funds are not made available to cover the cost of the student loan repayment program carried out under this section; or
(B) the employee and the head of the employing office involved mutually agree to terminate the service agreement under subsection (f)(7) of this section.
Another employing office
An employing office who hires an eligible employee during a required period of employment under such a service agreement may assume the remaining obligations (as of the date of the hiring) of the employee’s prior employing office under the agreement.
Failure of employee to reimburse
If an eligible employee fails to reimburse the Senate for the amount owed under paragraph (1), such amount shall be collected—
(A) under section 60c–2a (c) of this title or section 5514 of title 5 if the eligible employee is employed by any other office of the Senate or agency of the Federal Government; or
(B) under other applicable provisions of law if the eligible employee is not employed by any other office of the Senate or agency of the Federal Government.
Crediting of amounts
Any amount repaid by, or recovered from, an eligible employee under this section shall be credited to the subaccount for the employing office from which the amount involved was originally paid. Any amount so credited shall be merged with other sums in such subaccount for the employing office and shall be available for the same purposes, and subject to the same limitations (if any), as the sums with which such amount is merged.
Records and reports
Not later than January 1, 2003, and each January 1 thereafter, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, a report for the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year in which the report is submitted, that contains information specifying—
(A) the number of eligible employees that received student loan payments under this section; and
(B) the costs of such payments, including—
(i) the amount of such payments made for each eligible employee;
(ii) the amount of any reimbursement amounts for early separation from service or whether any waivers were provided with respect to such reimbursements; and
(iii) any other information determined to be relevant by the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate or the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.
Such report shall not include any information which is considered confidential or could disclose the identity of individual employees or employing offices. Information required to be contained in the report of the Secretary under section 104a of this title shall not be considered to be personal information for purposes of this paragraph.
Other administrative matters
The Secretary shall establish and maintain a central account from which student loan payments available under this section shall be paid on behalf of eligible employees.
The Secretary shall ensure that, within the account established under subparagraph (A), a separate subaccount is established for each employing office to be used by each such office to make student loan payments under this section. Such student loan payments shall be made from any funds available to the employing office for student loan payments that are contained in the subaccount for the office.
Amounts in each subaccount established under this paragraph shall not be made available for any purpose other than to make student loan payments under this section.
Beginning of payments
Student loan payments may begin under this section with respect to an eligible employee upon—
(A) the receipt by the Secretary of a signed service agreement; and
(B) verification by the Secretary with the holder of the loan that the eligible employee has an outstanding student loan balance that qualifies for payment under this section.
Student loan payments may be made under this section only with respect to the amount of student loan indebtedness of the eligible employee that is outstanding on the date on which the employee and the employing office enter into a service agreement under this section. Such payments may not be made under this section on a student loan that is in default or arrears.
Payment on multiple loans
Student loan payments may be made under this section with respect to more than 1 student loan of an eligible employee at the same time or separately, if the total payments on behalf of such employee do not exceed the limits under subsection (c)(2)(A) of this section.
Treatment of payments
Student loan payments made on behalf of an eligible employee under this section shall be in addition to any basic pay and other forms of compensation otherwise payable to the eligible employee, and shall be subject to withholding for income and employment tax obligations as provided for by law.
No relief from liability
An agreement to make student loan payments under this section shall not exempt an eligible employee from the responsibility or liability of the employee with respect to the loan involved and the eligible employee shall continue to be responsible for making student loan payments on the portion of any loan that is not covered under the terms of the service agreement.
Reduction in payments
Notwithstanding the terms of a service agreement under this section, the head of an employing office may reduce the amount of student loan payments made under the agreement if adequate funds are not available to such office. If the head of the employing office decides to reduce the amount of student loan payments for an eligible employee, the head of the office and the employee may mutually agree to terminate the service agreement.
No right to continued employment
A service agreement under this section shall not be construed to create a right to, promise of, or entitlement to the continued employment of the eligible employee.
A student loan payment under this section shall not be construed to be an entitlement for any eligible employee.
Treatment of payments
A student loan payment under this section—
(A) shall not be basic pay of an employee for purposes of chapters 83 and 84 of title 5 (relating to retirement) and chapter 87 of such title (relating to life insurance coverage); and
(B) shall not be included in Federal wages for purposes of chapter 85 of such title (relating to unemployment compensation).
Allocation of funds
In this subsection, the term "maximum amount", used with respect to a fiscal year, means—
(A) in the case of an employing office described in subsection (h)(1)(A) of this section, the amount described in that subsection for that fiscal year; and
(B) in the case of an employing office described in subsection (h)(1)(B) of this section, the amount described in that subsection for that fiscal year.
From the total amount made available to carry out this section for a fiscal year, there shall be allocated to each employing office for that fiscal year—
(A) the maximum amount for that employing office for that fiscal year; or
(B) if the total amount is not sufficient to provide the maximum amount to each employing office, an amount that bears the same relationship to the total amount as the maximum amount for that employing office for that fiscal year bears to the total of the maximum amounts for all employing offices for that fiscal year.
In the case of an employing office that is a Committee of the Senate, the funds allocated under this subsection shall be apportioned between the majority and minority staff of the committee in the same manner as amounts are apportioned between the staffs for salaries.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated (or otherwise made available from appropriations) to carry out this section the following amounts for each fiscal year:
(A) For each employing office that is the personal office of a Senator, an amount equal to 2 percent of the total sums appropriated for the fiscal year involved for administrative and clerical salaries for such office.
(B) For each other employing office, an amount equal to 2 percent of the total sums appropriated for the fiscal year involved for salaries for such office.
Amounts provided under this section shall be subject to annual appropriations.
This section shall apply to fiscal year 2002 and each fiscal year thereafter.
Last modified: July 21, 2011