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Pay & Leave Pay Administration

Fact Sheet: Promotion Examples

Special Rate to Non-Special Rate

In 2005, a GS-11, step 5, police officer stationed in Los Angeles is promoted to a GS-12 police officer position in San Francisco. In San Francisco, there is a special rate schedule that would apply to the employee's GS-11 position, but at GS-12 there is no applicable special rate range-instead just a locality rate range applies. Thus, different pay schedules apply in San Francisco before and after promotion. Using the rules in 5 CFR 531.214(d)(2), the agency would use the alternate method and the standard method and compare the results to see which is greater. However, the alternate method yields a different result from the standard method only when there is a change in the employee's position of record (e.g., change in occupational series) which would cause the employee to have a different pay schedule and different highest applicable rate range at the higher grade. Since there is no change in the position of record other than the grade and no special rates apply at grade 12, the alternate method and standard method would produce the same result. Therefore, use the standard method:

Standard Method:
StepDescription
Step A Apply the geographic conversion rule to determine the rates of basic pay for the GS-11, step 5, position in San Francisco. The pay schedules applicable to the employee in San Francisco are the General Schedule, the locality rate schedule applicable in San Francisco, and the special rate schedule applicable in San Francisco.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GS-11, step 5, rate ($51,271) by two within-grade increases, which produces the GS-11, step 7, rate ($54,287).
Step C The payable (highest) rate of basic pay for GS-11, step 7, is the corresponding GS-11, step 7, special rate that would be applicable to the GS-11 position in San Francisco ($70,875) on special rate table 983F. (The locality rate of pay is $68,613.)
Step D The highest applicable rate range for the GS-12 position after promotion is the GS-12 locality rate range in the San Francisco locality rate schedule.  The lowest step rate in that range that equals or exceeds the GS-11, step 7, special rate from step C is GS-12, step 3 ($73,098). That step rate is the payable rate of basic pay upon promotion.

Non-Special Rate to Special Rate

In 2005, a GS-0301-9, step 7, employee stationed in Atlanta is promoted to a GS-11 position in Washington, DC, in occupational series GS-2210.  The promotion involves not only a change in grade but a change in the employee's occupational series. In Washington, DC, no special rate schedule would apply to a GS-9 or GS-11 position in the old occupational series, but a special rate schedule does apply to the GS-11 position in the new occupational series. Thus, different pay schedules apply before and after promotion, and the highest applicable rate range after promotion is a special rate range from a schedule that did not apply to the employee before promotion. As provided by § 531.214(d)(2)(ii), the agency must apply the alternate method and compare the result to the result derived under the standard method, as follows:

Alternate Method:
StepDescription
Step A Apply the geographic conversion rule to determine the rates of basic pay for the GS-9, step 7, position in Washington, DC. Based on the GS-9 position before promotion (the GS-301 occupational series), the pay schedules applicable to the employee in Washington, DC, would be the General Schedule and the locality rate schedule applicable in Washington, DC.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GS-9, step 7, rate by two within-grade increases, which produces the GS-9, step 9, rate ($47,358).
Step C The payable (highest) rate of basic pay for GS-9, step 9, is the corresponding GS-9, step 9, locality rate in Washington, DC ($54,926).
Step D If the employee were promoted to a GS-11 position in the GS-301 occupational series, the highest applicable rate range for that GS-11 position after promotion would be the GS-11 locality rate range in Washington, DC. The GS-11, step 3, locality rate ($55,966) is the lowest step rate in that range that equals or exceeds the GS-9, step 9, locality rate from step C.
Step E Convert the GS-11, step 3, locality rate to the higher GS-11, step 3, special rate that applies to the employee's position after promotion on table 999C. That GS-11, step 3, special rate is the payable rate of basic pay upon promotion ($57,906).
Step F The standard method would have compared the GS-9, step 9, locality rate ($54,926) directly to the higher GS-11 range of special rates and produced a rate of GS-11, step 2 ($56,096). Since the rate produced by the alternate method (GS-11, step 3) is greater than the rate produced by the standard method, the result of the alternate method is used.

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Promotion to position where the employee gains law enforcement officer (LEO) status

In 2005, a GS-4, step 4, employee in San Diego who is not an LEO is promoted to a GS-5 LEO position in San Diego. Since different pay schedules apply before and after the promotion based on a change in the employee's official position of record, use the alternate method to provide the maximum benefit.

Alternate Method:
StepDescription
Step A No geographic conversion.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GS-4, step 4, rate by two within-grade increases, which produces the GS-4, step 6, rate ($25,731).
Step C The payable (highest) rate of basic pay for GS-4, step 6, is the corresponding GS-4, step 6, locality rate in San Diego ($30,280).
Step D If the employee were promoted to a GS-5 position in the non-LEO position, the highest applicable rate range for that GS-5 position after promotion would be the GS-5 locality rate range in San Diego. The GS-5, step 3, locality rate ($30,977) is lowest step rate in that range that equals or exceeds the GS-4, step 6, locality rate from step C.
Step E Convert the GS-5, step 3, locality rate to the higher GS-5, step 3, LEO special base rate with the San Diego locality payment that applies to the employee's position after promotion. That GS-5, step 3, LEO locality rate is the payable rate of basic pay upon promotion ($37,756).
Step F Assume that the standard method would have compared the GS-4, step 6, locality rate ($30,280) directly to the higher GS-5 range of LEO locality rates and produced a rate of GS-5, step 1 ($35,819). Since the rate produced by the alternate method (GS-5, step 3) is greater than the rate produced by the standard method, the result of the alternate method is used.

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LEO to Non-LEO Position

In 2005, a GS-8, step 8, LEO in the New York locality pay area is promoted to a GS-9 non-LEO position in the Rest of United States (RUS) locality pay area.  Different pay schedules apply before and after the promotion based on a change in the employee's official position of record. The agency must decide whether it is appropriate to base the promotion on the LEO special base rate (SBR), in which case the agency would use the standard method. Here is a comparison of the result from the alternate method and the standard method:

Alternate Method:
StepDescription
Step A Apply the geographic conversion rule to determine the rates of basic pay for the GS-8, step 8, position in RUS. Based on the GS-8 LEO position before promotion, the pay schedules applicable to the employee in RUS would be the LEO special base rate (SBR) schedule and the locality rate schedule based on LEO SBRs (for grades GS-3 through GS-10).
Step B Using the underlying LEO SBR schedule, increase the GS-8, step 8, rate by two within-grade increases, which produces the GS-8, step 10, rate ($46,260).
Step C The payable (highest) rate of basic pay for GS-8, step 10, is the corresponding GS-8, step 10, RUS locality rate for LEOs ($51,682).
Step D Under the alternate method, if the employee were promoted to a GS-9 position on the LEO locality rate table, the GS-9, step 8, locality rate ($52,908) is lowest step rate in that range that equals or exceeds the GS-8, step 10, LEO locality rate from step C.
Step E Under the alternate method, convert the GS-9, step 8, LEO locality rate to the lower GS-9, step 8, RUS locality rate ($51,516).
Step F The standard method would have compared the GS-8, step 10, LEO locality rate ($51,682) directly to the GS-9 range of GS locality rates and produced a rate of GS-9, step 9 ($52,908). Since the standard method produced a higher rate, use the standard method, unless the agency determines it is appropriate to use the alternate method under 5 CFR 531.214(d)(2)(iii).

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Low Special Rate to High Special Rate

In 2005, a GS-5, step 3, dental assistant (GS-681) covered by special rate table 0428 is promoted to a grade GS-6 dental hygienist (GS-682) position covered by special rate table 0334. Since different schedules apply before and after promotion based on a change in the position of record, and special rate table 0334 has higher special rates at grades GS-5 and GS-6 than special rate table 0429, use the alternate method to provide the maximum benefit of the higher rate upon promotion.

Alternate Method:
StepDescription
Step A No geographic conversion, since both positions are in the DC area.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GS-5, step 3, rate by two within-grade increases, which produces the GS-5, step 5, rate ($27,969).
Step C The payable (highest) rate of basic pay for GS-5, step 5, is the corresponding GS-5, step 5, special rate on table 0428 ($32,907). (The DC locality rate at GS-5, step 5, is $32,438.)
Step D Using the alternate method, promote the employee to the GS-6 position using the pay schedules that apply to the employee's position before promotion (special rate table 0428 and the DC area locality rate schedule). At GS-6, the highest applicable rate range is a hybrid range consisting of special rates at step 1 and 2 and locality rates at step 3-10. The GS-6, step 2, special rate ($33,009) is the lowest step rate in that range that equals or exceeds the GS-5, step 5, special rate from step C.
Step E Under the alternate method, convert the GS-6, step 2, special rate from table 0428 to the higher GS-6, step 2, special rate from table 0334 ($36,677).
Step F The standard method would have compared the GS-5, step 5, special rate on table 0428 ($32,907) directly to the GS-6 range of special rates on table 0334 and produced a rate of GS-6, step 1 ($35,760). The agency must use the alternate method to set pay, since that method produces a higher rate.

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High Special Rate to Low Special Rate

 

In 2005, a GS-11, step 8, medical officer (clinical) covered by worldwide special rate table 0290 is promoted to a GS-12 position on worldwide special rate table 0524 for medical officers conducting research. The employee will be at a worksite before and after promotion that is in the RUS locality pay area. The standard method will produce a higher result, since table 0290 has higher special rates at grades 11 and 12 than table 0524. (The agency determines it would not be appropriate to use the alternate promotion method under the special exception provision in 5 CFR 531.214(d)(2)(iii).)

Standard Method:
StepDescription
Step A No geographic conversion.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GS-11, step 8, rate ($55,795) by two within-grade increases, which produces the GS-11, step 10, rate ($58,811).
Step C The payable (highest) rate of basic pay for GS-11, step 10, is the corresponding GS-11, step 10, special rate that would be applicable to the GS-11 position on special rate table 290 ($70,875).
Step D The highest applicable rate range for the GS-12 position after promotion is the GS-12 special rate range on table 0524. The lowest step rate in that range that equals or exceeds the GS-11, step 10, special rate from step C is GS-12, step 5 ($72,291). That step rate is the payable rate of basic pay upon promotion.

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Promotion to a Hybrid Range

In 2005, a GS-5, step 4, nurse covered by special rate table 0352 is promoted to grade 7 on the same table. The same pay schedules apply before and after the promotion. (NOTE: A pay schedule is considered to apply to an employee who meets the established coverage conditions even though a rate under that schedule (e.g., a special rate schedule) is not currently payable to the employee because of a higher pay entitlement under another pay schedule (e.g., a locality pay schedule).) There are no steps higher than step 4 at grade GS-5 on the special rate table. Use the standard method.

Standard Method:
StepDescription
Step A No geographic conversion.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GS-5, step 4, rate ($27,146) by two within-grade increases, which produces the GS-5, step 6, rate ($28,792).
Step C The payable (highest) rate of basic pay for GS-5, step 6, is the corresponding GS-5, step 6, locality rate that would be applicable to the GS-5 position in San Francisco ($36,390). (There are no special rates above step 4 on grade 5 of table 0352.)
Step D The highest applicable rate range for the GS-7 position after promotion is the combination of the special rate range on table 0352 and the locality rate range. The lowest step rate in the hybrid range that equals or exceeds the GS-5, step 6, locality rate from step C is the GS-7, step 1, special rate ($39,738). That step rate is the payable rate of basic pay upon promotion. (The locality rate is $38,634.)

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Special Rate (non-LEO) to LEO SBR in DC

In 2005, a GS-7, step 5, police officer (who is not an LEO) in DC covered by table 983D is promoted to a GS-8 LEO SBR in DC. Although different schedules apply before and after the promotion, the rate produced by the standard method will be greater than the rate produced by the alternate method. Under the standard method, the police officer is promoted directly into the LEO SBR range with the locality supplement and receives a higher step than if the police officer were promoted to the higher grade on the police special rate table and then converted to the same grade and step on the LEO SBR range with the locality supplement. First use the standard method:

Standard Method:
StepDescription
Step A No geographic conversion.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GS-7, step 5, rate by two within-grade increases, which produces the GS-7, step 7, rate ($36,681).
Step C The payable (highest) rate of basic pay for GS-7, step 7, is the corresponding GS-7, step 7, special rate in Washington, DC on table 983D ($51,720).
Step D The highest applicable rate range for the position of record after promotion is the LEO SBR with locality supplement at grade GS-8. The GS-8, step 9, rate ($52,344) is the lowest step rate in the range that equals or exceeds the GS-7, step 7, rate from step C.

Then use the alternate method. Steps A, B, and C are the same as above.

Alternate Method:
StepDescription
Step D If the employee were promoted to a GS-8 position on table 983D, the highest applicable rate range for that GS-8 position after promotion would be the GS-8 special rate range in Washington, DC. The GS-8, step 5, special rate ($52,175) is lowest step rate in that range that equals or exceeds the GS-7, step 7, special rate from step C.
Step E Converting the GS-8, step 5, special rate to LEO SBR with locality supplement would produce a rate of $47,111.
Step F The employee is entitled to the payable rate derived under the standard method, since that rate is higher. (The agency determines it would not be appropriate to use the alternate method under the special exception provision in § 531.214(d)(2)(iii).)

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GM promotion

In 2005, a GM-13 employee with a rate of basic pay of $78,182 is promoted to a GS-14 position in Washington, DC. No special rate applies at GS-13 or GS-14.

Standard Method:
StepDescription
Step A No geographic conversion.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GM rate by two within-grade increases, which produces a rate of $82,480 ($78,182 + $2,149 + $2,149).
Step C Increase the rate by the applicable locality payment to find the highest payable rate of pay. The payable (highest) rate of basic pay for GM employee in DC is $95,660 ($82,480 × 1.1598, where 15.98% is the amount of the locality payment in DC.)
Step D The highest applicable rate range for the position of record after promotion is the DC locality pay table. The lowest step in the GS-14 locality rate range that exceeds $95,660 is step 4, $97,206. The employee's pay is set at that step, and GM status terminates upon the promotion.

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Retained Rate Employee

In 2005, a GS-11, step 00, employee receiving a retained rate of basic pay of $66,746 is promoted to a grade GS-12 position. As provided in 5 CFR 531.214(d)(5), apply the promotion rule using the maximum rate of the employee's grade. If the resulting highest payable rate of basic pay after promotion is greater than the employee's existing retained rate, the employee is entitled to that higher rate and the retained rate is terminated. Otherwise, the retained rate must be compared to the highest applicable rate range for the position after promotion, and the employee is entitled to the lowest step in that range equaling or exceeding the retained rate, or, if the retained rate exceeds the range maximum, the retained rate. Use the standard method, since the same pay schedule applies to the employee before and after the promotion.

Standard Method:
StepDescription
Step A No geographic conversion.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GS-11, step 10, rate by two within-grade increases, which produces a rate of $61,827 ($58,811 + $1,508 + $1,508).
Step C Multiply the increased rate by the applicable locality pay supplement amount to find the highest payable rate of pay associated with the $61,827 base rate. The payable (highest) rate of basic pay is $69,073 ($61,827 × 1.1172, where 11.72% is the amount of the RUS locality pay supplement.)
Step D The highest applicable rate range for the position of record after promotion is the RUS GS-12 locality rate range. The lowest step in the GS-12 range that exceeds $69,073 is step 6 ($70,670). The employee's pay is set at that step, since it exceeds the employee's existing retained rate, and the employee's entitlement to pay retention ceases.

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Special rate promotion from step 10 (fixed dollar supplement)

In 2005, a GS-4, step 10, mail and file clerk covered by special rate table 0159 (covering clerical employees in Juneau, Alaska) is promoted to grade GS-5 on the same table. Use the standard method, since the same schedules apply to the employee before and after promotion.

Standard Method:
StepDescription
Step A No geographic conversion.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GS-4, step 10, rate ($28,671) by two within-grade increases. The amount of the within- grade increase at grade 4 is $735. Multiply this amount by two ($735 × 2 = $1,470) and add the result to the GS-4, step 10, rate. $28,671 + $1,470 = $30,141.
Step C Determine the payable (highest) rate of basic pay for the rate determined in step B by applying the special rate supplement applicable to grade GS-4.  The special rates from table 0159 are based on fixed dollar supplements.  Subtract the GS-4, step 10, underlying General Schedule rate ($28,671) from the GS-4, step 10, special rate ($30,876) to find the special rate supplement. $30,876 - $28,671 = $2,205. Add the special rate supplement to the rate determined in step B ($30,141 + $2,205 = $32,346). $32,346 is the payable rate used in step D.
Step D The highest applicable rate range for the GS-5 position after promotion is the GS-5 special rate range on table 0159. The lowest step rate in that range that equals or exceeds the payable rate from step C is GS-5, step 9 ($32,907). That step rate is the payable rate of basic pay upon promotion.

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Special rate promotion from step 9 (percentage supplement)

In 2005, a GS-11, step 9, computer specialist covered by special rate table 999C in the Columbus, Ohio, locality pay area is promoted to grade GS-12 on the same table. Use the standard method, since the same schedules apply to the employee before and after promotion.

Standard Method:
StepDescription
Step A No geographic conversion.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GS-11, step 9, rate ($57,303) by two within-grade increases. The amount of the within-grade increase at grade 11 is $1,508. Multiply this amount by two ($1,508 × 2 = $3,016) and add the result to the GS-11, step 9, rate. $57,303 + $3,016 = $60,319.
Step C Determine the payable (highest) rate of basic pay for the rate determined in step B by applying the special rate supplement applicable to grade GS-11. The special rates from table 999C are based on percentage supplements. The special rate supplements are listed in the notes section of the table. The supplement at grade GS-11 is 20 percent. Multiply the rate determined in step B by the special rate supplement plus one and round to the nearest whole dollar ($60,319 × 1.20 = $72,383). $72,383 is the payable rate used in step D.
Step D The highest applicable rate range for the GS-12 position after promotion is the GS-12 special rate range on table 999C. (The locality payment for the Columbus locality pay area of 13.98 percent is less than the special rate supplement of 15 percent at grade GS-12. If the locality payment were less than the special rate supplement, see example #1 for promotion from special rate to non-special rate.) The lowest step rate in that range that equals or exceeds the payable rate from step C is GS-12, step 6 ($72,744). That step rate is the payable rate of basic pay upon promotion.

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Promotion between locality pay areas where special rates are not involved

In 2005, a GS-12, step 5, employee in the RUS locality pay area is promoted to a GS-13 position in the DC locality pay area. The agency must process a geographic conversion, after which the same pay schedules will apply before and after the promotion. Use the standard promotion method:

Standard method:
StepDescription
Step A Apply the geographic conversion rule to determine the rates of basic pay for the GS-12 position in DC. The pay schedules applicable to the employee in DC are the General Schedule and the DC locality pay schedule.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GS-12, step 5, rate ($61,449) by two within-grade increases, which produces the GS-12, step 7, rate ($65,063).
Step C The payable (highest) rate of basic pay for GS-12, step 7, is the corresponding GS-12, step 7, DC locality rate ($75,460).
Step D The highest applicable rate range for the GS-13 position after promotion is the GS-13 DC locality rate range. The lowest step rate in that range that equals or exceeds the GS-12, step 7, rate is GS-13, step 2 ($77,274). That step rate is the payable rate of basic pay upon promotion.

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Promotion on the same special rate table

In 2005, a GS-7, step 2, computer engineer in the Chicago locality pay area covered by special rate table 999D is promoted to grade GS-9 on the same table.  Since same pay schedules apply before and after the promotion, use the standard promotion method:

Standard method:
StepDescription
Step A No geographic conversion.
Step B Using the underlying General Schedule, increase the GS-7, step 2, rate ($31,586) by two within-grade increases, which produces the GS-7, step 4, rate ($33,624).
Step C The payable (highest) rate of basic pay for GS-7, step 4, is the corresponding GS-7, step 4, special rate on table 999D ($46,401).
Step D The highest applicable rate range for the GS-9 position after promotion is the GS-9 special rate range. The lowest step rate in that range that equals or exceeds the GS-7, step 4, rate is GS-9, step 1 ($49,729). That step rate is the payable rate of basic pay upon promotion.

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