Human Resources and Security Specialists should use this tool to determine the correct investigation level for any covered position within the U.S. Federal Government.
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A QSI is a faster-than-normal WGI used to reward employees at any GS grade level who display high quality performance. To be eligible for a QSI, employees must:
A QSI does not affect the timing of an employee's next regular WGI unless the QSI places the employee in step 4 or step 7 of his or her grade. In these cases, the employee becomes subject to the full waiting period for the new step--i.e., 104 weeks or 156 weeks, respectively--and the time an employee has already waited counts towards the next increase. The employee receives the full benefit of receiving a WGI at an earlier date and has not lost any time creditable towards his or her next WGI.
See 5 U.S.C. 5336, 5 CFR part 531, subpart E, and http://www.opm.gov/perform/articles/1999/apr99-7.asp for additional information on QSIs.
Within-grade increases (WGIs) or step increases are periodic increases in a General Schedule (GS) employee's rate of basic pay from one step of the grade of his or her position to the next higher step of that grade. For WGI purposes, an employee's rate of basic pay is the rate of pay fixed by law or administrative action for the position held by the employee before any deductions and exclusive of additional pay of any kind.
(Note: Employees designated as "GM" whose rate of basic pay is less than the maximum rate of their grade also may receive WGIs. See 5 CFR part 531, subpart D, for additional information.)
See the fact sheet on General Schedule Within-Grade Increases for the required waiting periods for advancement to the next higher step of a GS grade for employees with a scheduled tour of duty. (See 5 CFR 531.405(a)(2) for the required waiting periods for employees without a scheduled tour of duty.)
A WGI waiting period begins upon (1) first appointment in the Federal service, (2) receiving an "equivalent increase," or (3) after a period of nonpay status and/or a break in service in excess of 52 calendar weeks.
Fact sheet available at http://www.opm.gov/oca/pay/html/wgifact.asp
Use Services Online (Retirement Services) to:
You can also call our toll-free number 1 (888) 767-6738 , for these and many of your voluntary withholdings. When using self-service systems, you need your claim number, Personal Identification Number (PIN), and social security number. If you do not have a PIN, call us.
If you do not have a touchtone telephone, you can speak to a Customer Service Specialist.
Generally, in the middle of month, we authorize payments that are due for the first business day of the following month. Therefore, if you want your change to be reflected in your next payment, you should submit your request as early in the month as possible. See our payment schedule for the last date you can change your next monthly payment.
Agencies must use the standard method when an employee is covered by the same pay schedules before and after promotion. For example, an employee may be covered by the same locality rate schedule before and after promotion. See Promotion Examples 7 and 9-14.
Also, agencies should use the standard method when an employee is covered by different pay schedules before and after promotion if the standard method produces a higher payable rate upon promotion than the alternate method. See Promotion Examples 2, 4, 6, and 8. However, an agency may determine it is inappropriate to use the standard method under 5 CFR 531.214(d)(2)(iii).
An "equivalent increase" is considered to occur at the time of any of the following personnel actions:
Note: For example, in 2009 a GS-13, step 3, employee ($75,323 GS rate) accepts a voluntary demotion to a GS-12 position. The agency sets her pay using the maximum payable rate rule at GS-12, step 10 ($77,194 GS rate). The increase in pay is not an equivalent increase because the employee's pay was set at the lowest step that exceeded her rate of basic pay before promotion.
For information on equivalent increases for non-GS employees who move to the GS pay system, see Q10, which includes an example for an employee moving to the GS pay system from the Department of Defense (DoD) National Security Personnel System (NSPS).
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