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Pay & Leave Pay Administration

Fact Sheet: Pay Action Examples Other than Promotions and Grade and Pay Retention

(Also see fact sheets on Simultaneous Pay Actions, Promotion Examples, and Grade and Pay Retention Examples)

Termination of Special Rate for GS Employee

On May 1, 2005, the special rates in Denver for information technology specialists at grade GS-13 were terminated because the applicable locality rates exceeded the special rates at all steps. Employees were not affected by this change, because they were already receiving locality rates higher than the GS-13 special rates on table 999D. The special rates were underlying rates of pay. Effective May 1, 2005, an affected employee's pay remained at the GS-13, step 7, locality rate of $91,345. The employee's underlying GS-13, step 7, rate of basic pay was set at $77,372. The employee has no further entitlement to a special rate. (See 5 U.S.C. 5305(h) and 5 CFR 530.303(d).)

Reassignment to New Official Worksite (no change in position of record)

In 2005, a GS-11, step 3, employee in a non-special rate position in Dallas ($55,527 locality rate) is reassigned to a GS-11 non-special rate position in Houston. Pay is set at the corresponding GS-11, step 3, rate in Houston ($60,208 locality rate). The employee's underlying GS-11, step 3, rate remains at $48,255. (See 5 CFR 531.213.)

Voluntary Transfer from a Special Rate to a Locality Rate

In 2005, a GS-0083-7, step 3, police officer in Miami covered by special rate table 983B ($42,060) voluntarily transfers to a non-police officer position in a different agency in Miami that is not covered by special rates. As provided by 5 CFR 531.213, the employee's payable rate is set at the corresponding GS-7, step 3, rate on the Miami locality pay table ($38,073). The employee's underlying GS-7, step 3, rate remains at $32,605.

Voluntary Demotion from a Locality Rate to a Special Rate

In 2005, a GS-12, step 2, employee in a non-special rate position in Los Angeles ($68,158 locality rate) voluntarily accepts a demotion to a GS-2210-11 position in Los Angeles that is covered by special rate table 999E. The demotion is not influenced by a management action, so grade and pay retention are not applicable, and the agency decides not to use the maximum payable rate rule in 5 CFR 531.221. Therefore, as provided by 5 CFR 531.215(a), the employee's payable rate is set at GS-11, step 1, on special rate table 999E ($56,549), since that is the highest applicable pay schedule for the GS-11 position. The employee's underlying GS-11, step 1, rate is set at $45,239.

Voluntary Demotion from Lower Locality Rate to Higher Locality Rate

In 2005, a GS-0201-11, step 5, human resources specialist in the Washington, DC, locality pay area ($59,464) voluntarily accepts a demotion to a GS-0201-9 position in the San Francisco locality pay area. Since this is a voluntarily demotion, grade and pay retention do not apply. As provided by 5 CFR 531.215(b), if an employee's official worksite after demotion is in a different geographic location where different pay schedules apply, the agency must first convert the employee to the applicable pay schedule(s) and rate(s) of basic pay in the new geographic area (San Francisco locality pay area) based on the employee's position of record before processing the demotion. The pay schedules applicable to the employee in San Francisco are the General Schedule and the San Francisco locality rate schedule. The GS-11, step 5, General Schedule rate is $51,271, and the GS-11, step 5, San Francisco locality rate is $64,801. The agency decides to use the maximum payable rate rule in 5 CFR 531.221. The employee's highest previous rate (HPR) is the GS-11, step 5, rate on the General Schedule. (As provided by 5 CFR 531.222(b), use the employee's underlying GS rate as the HPR in applying the maximum payable rate rule in 5 CFR 531.221(b), which is designed to use underlying GS rates to avoid the need for geographic conversion.) Compare the HPR ($51,271) to the GS-9 rate range on the 2005 General Schedule. There is no step rate that equals or exceeds the HPR; therefore, the maximum payable rate is the GS-9, step 10, rate ($48,604). The agency may set the employee's GS rate at any rate in the GS-9 rate range.

Reappointment Using GS Rate as Highest Previous Rate (HPR)

In 2005, an employee is hired at GS-7 in a non-special rate position in Seattle after a break in service of 8 years. The employee's HPR was earned in 1997, when the employee was at GS-9, step 2, and stationed in Portland,OR--with a locality rate of $32,437 and a GS rate of $30,563. Use the underlying GS rate as the HPR in applying the maximum payable rate rule, as provided by 5 CFR 531.221(b) and 531.222(b).

Step A: Compare the employee's HPR ($30,563) with the GS rates for the grade in which pay is currently being set. For this comparison, use the schedule of GS rates in effect at the time the HPR was earned (i.e., the 1997 rates for GS-7).

Step B: Identify the lowest step in the grade at which the GS rate was equal to or greater than the employee's HPR. The lowest rate for grade GS-7 on the 1997 General Schedule that equals or exceeds $30,563 was GS-7, step 9 ($30,626).

Step C: Identify the rate on the currently applicable range of GS rates for the employee's current position of record and grade that corresponds to the step identified above. The GS-7, step 9, rate on the 2005 General Schedule is $38,719. This is the maximum payable GS rate the agency may pay the employee.

Step D: The agency may set the employee's GS rate at any rate in the GS-7 rate range up to step 9. After setting the GS rate, the agency determines the employee's payable locality rate corresponding to that GS rate.

Reassignment Using Special Rate as Highest Previous Rate (HPR)

In 2005, a GS-11, step 1, information technology specialist receiving a special rate on special rate table 999B is reassigned to a non-special rate position located in the same city. (No geographic conversion is required because the new position is located within the geographic boundaries of table 999B and in the same Rest of U.S. (RUS) locality pay area.) The agency determines it is appropriate to use the employee's special rate as the HPR ($53,382) under 5 CFR 531.221(c) and 531.222(c). Since the HPR is a special rate, the HPR must be compared to the highest applicable rate range for the employee's non-special rate position, which is the RUS locality pay table for that grade. The lowest step on the RUS locality rate table for GS-11 that equals or exceeds the employee's former special rate is GS-11, step 3 ($53,910). This is the maximum payable rate. The agency may set the employee's payable rate at any rate in the GS-11 RUS locality rate range up to step 3.

Reappointment Using Non-GS Rate as Highest Previous Rate (HPR)

In 2005, a former U.S. Capitol Police officer is hired as a GS-0083-7 police officer in Washington, DC. The employee's HPR was earned in 2002 while serving as a Capitol Police officer--$39,427. (See 5 CFR 531.221(d).)

Step A: Compare the HPR to the highest applicable rate range in effect at the time and place where the HPR was earned. The highest applicable rate range is determined as if the employee held the current GS position of record (including the grade in which pay is being set) at that time and place. The highest applicable range for a GS-7 police officer in Washington, DC, in 2002 was the GS-7 rate range on special rate table 0065.

Step B: Identify the lowest step rate in that range that was equal to or higher than the highest previous rate. The lowest step rate for GS-7 on special rate table 0065 that equaled or exceeded the HPR of $39,427 was the rate for GS-7, step 7 ($39,432).

Step C: Convert the step rate identified above to a corresponding rate (same step) on the current highest applicable rate range for the employee's current GS position of record and official worksite. The highest applicable rate range for the current GS-7 police officer position is the GS-7 rate range on special rate table number 983D. In 2005, the GS-7, step 7, special rate on table 983D is $51,720. This is the maximum payable rate. The agency may set the employee's payable rate at any rate in the table 983D GS-7 rate range up to step 7.

Step D: If the agency sets the employee's payable rate at GS-7, step 7, the underlying rate of basic pay at that step from the 2005 General Schedule is $36,681. (The employee's payable rate consists of an underlying rate of basic pay of $36,681 and a special rate supplement of 41 percent. See special rate table 983D.)

Transfer Using a Non-LEO Rate to LEO Rate

In 2005, a GS-0080-7, step 3, security specialist (non-LEO) in the Dallas locality pay area ($37,519) laterally transfers to a GS-0007-7 correctional officer position (LEO), which is covered by the RUS LEO locality pay table. As provided by 5 CFR 531.213, set the employee's rates of pay in the new position based on the employee's existing step. In the new position, the employee is entitled to the GS-7, step 3, LEO special base rate of $36,681 and the corresponding RUS locality rate of $40,981.

Reassignment Using Non-GS Rate as Highest Previous Rate (HPR)

In 2005, a WG-8, step 4, employee in Washington, DC ($21.44/hr), requests a reassignment to a GS-9 non-special rate position also in Washington, DC. The employee's only entitlement is to step 1. However, the agency decides to use the maximum payable rate rule to set the employee's pay. The agency follows the rules for an employee whose HPR is based on a rate under a non-GS pay system. First, annualize the employee's highest previous rate by multiplying the employee's hourly rate by 2,087 ($21.44 x 2.087 = $44,745).

Step A: Compare the highest previous rate to the highest applicable rate range (including a locality rate or special rate range) in effect at the time and place where the highest previous rate was earned. The highest applicable rate range is determined as if the employee held the current GS position of record (including the grade in which pay is being set) at that time and place. The highest applicable rate range is the GS-9 range on the DC locality rate schedule.

Step B: Identify the lowest step rate in that range that was equal to or higher than the highest previous rate (or the step 10 rate if the highest previous rate exceeded the range maximum). The employee's annualized WG rate falls between steps 1 and 2 of the GS-9 rate range. The agency may set the employee's pay at GS-9, step 2 ($44,810).

Step C: Convert the step rate identified in step B to a corresponding rate (same step) on the current highest applicable rate range for the employee's current GS position of record and official worksite. That step rate is the employee's maximum payable rate of basic pay. No conversion is required in this example.

Step D: After setting the employee's rate of basic pay in the current highest applicable rate range (not to exceed the MPR identified in step C), determine any underlying rate of basic pay to which the employee is entitled at the determined step rate. The underlying GS rate of basic pay at GS-9, step 2, is $38,636.

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