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Yes. An agency might determine that a senior professional's change of position meets the criteria for the exception in section 147(c) of the Continuing Appropriations and Surface Transportation Act (which has been extended until December 31, 2013) and the timing supports an increase in pay through an annual pay adjustment under 5 CFR 534.504. The agency must still consider the 12-month restriction in 5 CFR 534.503(c) to determine whether the pay increase may be provided in this way or must be deferred until a later time. In this regard, 5 CFR 534.503(c)(2) provides that the annual adjustment in pay under 5 CFR 534.504 is not considered to be subject to the 12-month restriction if, and only if, the annual adjustment does not exceed the greater of the annual General Schedule adjustment under 5 U.S.C. 5303 or the Executive Schedule adjustment under 5 U.S.C. 5318, effective the same date. Since both the GS and EX statutory adjustments will be 0% between January 2011 and December 31, 2013, any annual adjustment proposed in January of 2011, 2012, or 2013 that is above 0% must be considered a pay adjustment subject to the 12-month restriction.
For example, a senior professional last received a pay increase on April 25, 2010. In November 2010, the agency reassigned the individual to a position with substantially greater responsibility. The agency would have increased pay at that time but could not because of the 12-month restriction. Thus, on April 25th, 2011, the agency was able to grant the individual a pay adjustment since the criteria for the exception to the pay freeze in section147(c) of the Act was met and the 12-month period had expired.
Note: An agency should document the amount of a pay increase that is prevented by the 12-month restriction at the time of a change of position, or as soon as possible thereafter, and must document the basis for its finding that the reassignment meets the criteria for the exception in section 147(c) of the Act.
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