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Frequently Asked Questions Senior Executive Service

Does the pay freeze apply to base salary decreases for SES members?

No. An agency may involuntarily reduce a career senior executive's rate of basic pay under 5 CFR 534.404(j) for performance or disciplinary reasons subject to restrictions on reducing the pay of senior executives in 5 CFR 534.404(b) and 534.404(c) or on setting pay below the minimum rate of the SES rate range in 5 CFR 534.403(a). However, an agency should take the duration of the pay freeze into account when assessing the appropriate reduction for a senior executive. Under 5 CFR 534.404(c), a senior executive whose pay is reduced but who resolves any problems and demonstrates stronger performance has the opportunity for a pay increase after 12 months, but the pay freeze can impose a significantly longer waiting period. For example, a pay reduction done during the period of the pay freeze is fixed until the end of the pay freeze-absent a change of position that meets the criteria in section 147(c) of the Act for an exception.

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