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Pay & Leave Pay Administration

Fact Sheet: Maximum GS Pay Limitations

Type of Pay LimitMaximum LimitReference
General Schedule (excluding any locality payment or special rate supplement) Level V of Executive Schedule 5 U.S.C. 5303(f)
General Schedule, plus special rate supplement (5 U.S.C. 5305) Minimum rate may not exceed 30% of maximum rate for grade; maximum rate may not exceed level IV of Executive Schedule 5 U.S.C. 5305(a) and 5 CFR 530.304(a)
General Schedule, plus locality payment Level IV of Executive Schedule 5 U.S.C. 5304(g)(1) and 5 CFR 531.606(a)
Biweekly limitation on premium pay 1 Greater of biweekly rate payable for GS-15, step 10, OR level V of Executive Schedule 5 U.S.C. 5547(a) and 5 CFR 550.105
Annual limitation on premium pay for emergency work or for work critical to the mission of an agency 2 Greater of annualized rate payable for GS-15, step 10, OR level V of Executive Schedule 5 U.S.C. 5547(b)(1) and (b)(2) and 5 CFR 550.106 and 550.107
Aggregate limitation on pay 3 Level I of Executive Schedule 5 U.S.C. 5307 and 5 CFR 530.203

Notes

1. Under 5 U.S.C. 5547(a) and 5 CFR 550.105, GS employees may receive certain types of premium pay in a pay period only to the extent that the aggregate of basic pay and premium pay for the pay period does not exceed the greater of the biweekly rate payable for (1) GS-15, step 10 (including any applicable locality payment or special rate supplement), or (2) level V of the Executive Schedule. (See notes 2 and 4 for exceptions to this rule.)

2. Under 5 U.S.C. 5547(b) and 5 CFR 550.106 and 5 CFR 550.107, the head of an agency may apply an annual pay cap to certain types of premium pay for any pay period for (1) employees performing work in connection with an emergency, including work performed in the aftermath of such an emergency, or (2) employees performing work critical to the mission of the agency. Such employees may receive certain types of premium pay only to the extent that the aggregate of basic pay and premium pay for the calendar year does not exceed the greater of the annualized rate payable at the end of the calendar year for (1) GS-15, step 10 (including any applicable locality payment or special rate supplement), or (2) level V of the Executive Schedule. (See 5 CFR 550.107(d) regarding method of computing this annualized rate.)

3. A GS employee may not receive any portion of any allowance, differential, bonus, award, or other similar payment under title 5, United States Code, in any calendar year, which when combined with the employee's basic pay would cause the employee's aggregate compensation (including premium pay) to exceed the rate for level I of the Executive Schedule at the end of the calendar year. See 5 CFR 530.202 for definitions of "basic pay" and "aggregate compensation."

4. Effective January 1, 2012, section 1104 of Public Law 112-81, December 31, 2011, extends to calendar year 2012 the authority provided in section 1101(a) of Public Law 110-417, October 14, 2008, as amended by section 1103 of Public Law 111-383, January 7, 2011, for the head of an agency to waive the premium pay cap provisions under 5 U.S.C. 5547 for certain employees working overseas. Please see CPM 2012-02 and CPM 2012-05 for additional information.

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