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News Release

Thursday, December 09, 2004
Contact: Edmund D. Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM's Associate Director for Strategic Human Resources Policy Addresses 300 Agency Representatives at a Forum on SES Pay Regulations and the "Importance of Performance"

OPM Director Kay Coles James ensures comprehensive outreach effort for stakeholders and interested parties

Washington, D.C. - During a forum for HR executives and their technical staff on the final regulations governing pay and bonuses for members of the Senior Executive Service, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Associate Director for Strategic Human Resources Policy Ron Sanders provided an overview of what must be done when setting and adjusting pay for SES members, including setting rates of basic pay up to the rate for level II of the Executive Schedule.

In addition, he provided guidelines for transitioning to the new higher rates of basic pay for agencies with OPM certified performance appraisal systems.

"Since 2001, it has been OPM's and Director James' message that performance matters," said Sanders. "In order for the federal government to be competitive, it must reward its top leaders for achieving measurable results for the American taxpayer. Basing the pay of federal employees on performance and results has been a priority of President Bush, and this represents a major step in accomplishing that objective."

The regulations permit agencies with certified performance appraisal systems to pay their highest-performing SES members in 2004 up to $158,100 (the rate for level II of the Executive Schedule). Without certification from OPM and OMB, SES pay is capped at the rate for Executive Level III, currently $145,600.

The rules also raise the annual aggregate limitation on pay and bonuses for members of the SES and senior professionals who are covered by certified performance appraisal systems. The new aggregate limit is capped at the salary earned by the Vice President, $203,000 in 2004.

The regulations appear in the Federal Register and are effective December 6, 2004.

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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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