Fact Sheet For Completing
Medical Special Pay (MSP) Contract
The instructions contained in this fact sheet must be followed for MSP to
This fact sheet contains information on completing a contract
(form PHS-6300-1) for Medical Special Pay (MSP). MSP is an annual bonus payable to eligible medical officers who agree to serve on active duty for at least 1 year in the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS). MSP consists of three separate contractual pays: Retention Special Pay (RSP), designed to attract and retain qualified physicians; Multiyear Retention Bonus (MRB), designed to enhance retention of trained specialists; and Incentive Special Pay (ISP), designed to make the compensation levels of qualified specialists competitive with the private sector. All medical officers are eligible for RSP, except under certain conditions (see item 3 for exceptions). However, only medical officers who are medical specialists (see item 5 for specialists) are eligible to apply for MRB and/or ISP.
Before completing the MSP contract, carefully read the following information and instructions. Failure to complete the MSP contract in accordance with these instructions may result in late payment or nonpayment of MSP.
PHS policies and procedures for MSP are contained in
INSTRUCTION 3, "Retention Special Pay (RSP)";
INSTRUCTION 9, "Multiyear Retention Bonus (MRB)"; and INSTRUCTION
10, "Incentive Special Pay (ISP)"; Subchapter CC22.2, of the Commissioned Corps Personnel Manual (CCPM).
RATES OF RSP
- Each officer is ultimately responsible for requesting/monitoring his/her special pays, and for being familiar with the policies governing the eligibility requirements, processing, and payment of those pays. Each officer should exercise informed judgment when entering into a contractual agreement by carefully reading the policy and understanding the obligation incurred pursuant to receipt of MSP.
- An MSP contract is a formal agreement which serves as proof of your obligation.
The contract is binding on you and will continue in force until its terms and conditions are fulfilled. The MSP contract becomes a legal and binding contract only after the Compensation Branch (CB), Division of Commissioned Personnel (DCP), issues orders and payment in consideration of your obligation to the PHS. NO other agency or office has the authority to make this contract binding.
- In order to be eligible for MSP, you must first determine if, by law, you are eligible for RSP. To be eligible for RSP, you must be entitled to variable special pay (VSP) and be on active duty under a call to active duty for a period of not less than 1 year. In addition, you must be eligible to remain on active duty for a period of at least 1 year from the effective date of the RSP contract and execute a contract to remain on active duty. However, you are not eligible for RSP if you are participating in a medical internship or in initial residency training, as defined in INSTRUCTION 3, Subchapter CC22.2, of the CCPM, or
if you are working in an assignment, with the exception of Indian Health Service (IHS), during which time you are serving obligated service pursuant to participation in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) or a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sponsored scholarship program. You must also have a current valid license, and a recent Commissioned Officer's Effectiveness Report (COER) (if you have been on duty for more than 6 months) in order to receive MSP.
- Unless you are initially entering on active duty, you may execute, if otherwise eligible, the MSP for 1, 2, 3, or 4 years. If you are initially entering on active duty and if otherwise eligible, you must execute an MSP contract for at least a 2-year period.
- To be eligible for MRB and/or ISP, you must be eligible to receive RSP, and you must be "board certified" or "fully trained in a medical specialty" (see
INSTRUCTION 1, Section C.3., Subchapter CC22.2, of the CCPM, for definition of "board certified." The definition of "fully trained in a medical specialty" as defined in INSTRUCTION 9, Section C.7., or INSTRUCTION 10, Section C.6., Subchapter CC22.2, of the CCPM, is "satisfactory completion of an accredited residency training program approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or the Advisory Board for Osteopathic Specialists of the American Osteopathic Association), and you must be able to undertake a minimum of 112 hours of clinical practice time or be fulfilling your clinical practice requirement through the execution of your billet (i.e., Preventive Medicine, Research Officers Group (ROG)).
- If you are applying for MRB and/or ISP, if otherwise eligible, you must execute the MSP contract/RSP portion and the MRB and/or ISP portion(s) for a period of 1 (RSP/ISP combination only), 2, 3, or 4 year (RSP/MRB/ISP combinations) to run concurrently. Although the ISP is a 1 year contract, the rate of ISP you receive is locked in for the duration of the RSP/MRB contract when executed simultaneously. This provision does not apply to ISP contracts executed for hardship locations or for 1-year RSP/ISP only combinations. Under these two conditions the current year’s rate applies to the ISP contract.
- If you are applying for MRB and/or ISP you must complete a MRB/ISP Validation Record (available through your agency, see
Exhibit 1) and submit all required documentation. Contracts submitted without complete documentation will be held for payment until all such required documents have been received. To preserve your contract date, if there is a delay in obtaining all documentation for submission, forward the contract and validation record through your agency with a note stating that the required documents are forthcoming.
- By signing the MSP contract and accepting MSP, you are voluntarily agreeing to remain on active duty as a PHS commissioned medical officer, beginning with the effective date of your MSP contract, for the number of years you indicated on your contract. The effective date of your MSP contract cannot be changed once the contract is in effect.
- If you do not serve on active duty for the entire period for which you received MSP, you will be required to refund a pro rata portion of any payment received. which represents the unserved part of your active-duty obligation and any additional bonus amounts received for longevity contracts (3 or 4 year MRB contract amounts). In addition, if you voluntarily terminate your MSP contract, you will be divested of your separation entitlements, such as travel and transportation allowances for you and your dependents, shipment of household goods, and transfer of or payment for unused annual leave, under authority of the Joint Federal Travel Regulations and annual leave regulations and policies respectively. (See
INSTRUCTION 3, Subchapter CC22.2, of the CCPM for additional information concerning the voluntary and involuntary termination of MSP contracts plus the consequences of such termination.) If you are denied lump-sum payment for unused annual leave because you failed to fulfill the terms of the MSP contract, you must also be denied terminal leave in accordance with INSTRUCTION
2, Subchapter CC29.1, of the CCPM. Terminal leave is any approved annual leave taken after an officer has submitted form
PHS-1373, "Separation of a Commissioned Officer."
- Before your MSP contract becomes effective and prior to any payment, the PHS component or other Federal agency to which you are assigned or detailed (see
Exhibit 1 for a list of PHS components and other agencies to which PHS commissioned officers are assigned or detailed) must certify that you are eligible to receive MSP, that your performance is satisfactory, that you are able to remain on active duty for the entire time period covered by the contract, and that the required documentation is included with your MSP contract. If you are not recommended for an MSP contract by the PHS component or Federal agency to which you are assigned or detailed, or if your clinical practice time is in question, a board composed of medical officers may be convened to make a recommendation about your eligibility for MSP, as well as recommendations on payment of MSP.
- If you sign an MSP contract for more than 1 year, the PHS component or other Federal agency to which you are assigned or detailed will be required to annually recertify that you meet the same eligibility criteria as established in item 10 above before subsequent payments will be made.
- Once a completed MSP contract and required documentation is received, payment will normally be made within 90 days of the effective date of your contract. However,
YOU SHOULD NOT INCUR ANY FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS based on the possibility that you will receive MSP until you actually receive the payment.
RSP is payable in the amount of $15,000 a year.
RATES OF MRB/ISP -
Click here for rate charts
EFFECTIVE DATE OF MSP CONTRACTS
The effective date of your contract is the date your MSP obligation begins. The effective date will be determined as follows (this information is also on the face of the contract):
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE MSP CONTRACT
Initial Contract. If you enter into an initial contract incident to entry on active duty or after your entry on active duty, your MSP contract will be effective on one of the following dates, whichever is later:
- Date you attain eligibility for MSP, provided the completed contract is received in the CB, DCP, within 60 days after you are initially eligible and your contract is signed and notarized within 30 days after you are initially eligible for MSP;
Date your completed contract is notarized, if received in CB within 60 days of date of your eligibility, but has not been notarized within 30 days of date of initial eligibility;
Date your completed, notarized contract is received in CB, if not received in CB, within 60 days of date of your eligibility; or
A later date specified by you in your MSP contract.
- Subsequent Contract. The effective date of subsequent MSP contracts will be one of the following dates, whichever is later:
- Date following the date your preceding contract expires, provided your completed contract is received in CB within 60 days after the date of expiration of your previous contract, and the contract is signed and notarized on or before the date following the date your preceding contract expired;
- Date your completed contract is notarized, if the contract is received in CB within 60 days after the date of expiration of the previous contract, but has not been notarized on or before the date your previous contract expired;
- Date your completed, notarized contract is received in CB, if not received in CB within 60 days of the date following the date that your preceding contract expired; or
- A later date specified by you in your MSP contract.
Failure to submit your contract in accordance with these procedures
will delay your payment or result in nonpayment.
Read the contract carefully, including the Privacy Act Statement on the reverse side of the contract.
The MSP contract consists of an original two sided contract, which once notarized, will be submitted through your agency to DCP.
In Section 1 - print or type your full name, grade, and PHS serial number on the first line on the front of the contract. Fill in the name of the PHS component or other Federal agency to which you are assigned or detailed (see
Exhibit 1), your duty station phone number, and your social security number on line 2.
- In Section 2 - indicate the type of special pay requested (RSP, MRB, and/or ISP) and the number of years (either 1, 2, 3, or 4 years) you wish the contract to be in effect. Again, note that if you are initially entering on active duty, you must execute an RSP contract for at least a 2-year period.
- If you agree to the terms and conditions of the MSP contract, take the contract to a notary, sign and date the contract in the notary's presence, and have the notary complete the notarization blanks on the contract.
- Submit the original contract to your immediate supervisor. Retain
a copy of the contract with your important papers to verify, if necessary, that you completed and notarized an MSP contract on a certain date
- Your immediate supervisor will recommend whether you should or should not receive MSP and will forward the contract through the normal supervisory channels to the PHS component or other Federal agency to which you are assigned or detailed. The head of the PHS component, or a designated official at the headquarters level to which you are assigned, must certify your contract before it will be accepted by DCP.
If your contract is approved, personnel orders will be issued authorizing RSP, MRB, and/or ISP. If the personnel order is dated on or before the 17th of the month, MSP will usually be included in that month's pay. Personnel orders dated after the 17th of the month generally indicate that MSP will be included in your next month's pay. Please note that all medical special pays are taxable income.
If you have any additional questions about MSP, the contract, or other related matters, contact the appropriate office for the PHS component or other Federal agency to which you are assigned or detailed as listed in