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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.
A limit under title 5, United States Code, on the total amount of allowances, differentials, bonuses, awards, or other similar payments an employee may receive in a calendar year, when combined with the employee's basic pay. Payments in excess of the aggregate limitation on pay (other than basic pay) must be deferred and are generally paid as a lump-sum payment at the beginning of the following calendar year.
The aggregate limitation on pay for members of the Senior Executive Service and employees in senior-level or scientific or professional positions covered by a certified performance appraisal system is the total annual compensation payable to the Vice President under 3 U.S.C. 104 on the last day of the calendar year.
The aggregate limitation on pay for other covered employees is the rate for level I of the Executive Schedule on the last day of the calendar year.
The aggregate limitation on pay applies to all executive branch employees, General Schedule (GS) employees in the legislative branch, and GS employees in the judicial branch (excluding those paid under 28 U.S.C. 332(f), 603, and 604). Note: Certain executive branch employees may be excluded from the aggregate limitation on pay under 5 U.S.C. 5307 by other laws, such as employees in the Federal Aviation Administration or Transportation Security Administration. Although such employees are not covered by the guidance in this fact sheet, they may be subject to similar aggregate limitation provisions administered by their agencies.
At the beginning of each calendar year, agencies should estimate whether an employee's aggregate compensation will exceed the applicable aggregate limitation on pay at the end of that calendar year. This involves adding the amount of any lump-sum payment of excess amounts carried over from a previous calendar year to the total amount of basic pay and allowances, differentials, bonuses, awards, and other cash payments the employee is projected to receive in that calendar year based upon known factors.
When an agency authorizes a discretionary payment for an employee, the agency must defer any portion of the payment that, when added to the employee's estimated aggregate compensation, would cause it to exceed the applicable aggregate limitation. Discretionary payments are optional. Payments that are authorized to be made to an employee under a service agreement or preauthorized to be made to an employee at a regular fixed rate each pay period are not discretionary payments.
After deferring discretionary payments, an agency must defer all nondiscretionary payments (other than basic pay) at the time when otherwise continuing to pay them would cause an employee's estimated aggregate compensation for that calendar year to exceed the applicable aggregate limitation.
An agency may not-
Agencies must take corrective action if they overestimated or underestimated an employee's aggregate compensation, or the aggregate limitation applicable to the employee is reduced during the calendar year (5 CFR 530.203(g) and (h)).
An agency must pay the amounts that were deferred because they were in excess of the applicable aggregate limitation as a lump-sum payment at the beginning of the following calendar year, except-
Under the following conditions an agency must pay any amount that was deferred because it was in excess of the applicable aggregate limitation, regardless of the calendar year limitation-
An agency must maintain appropriate records and must transfer such records to any agency that may later employ the employee during the same calendar year.
Aggregate compensation means the total of-
Basic pay means-
The total amount of pay received at a rate fixed by law or administrative action for the position held by an employee, including any special rate under 5 CFR part 530, subpart B, or any locality-based comparability payment under 5 CFR part 531, subpart F, or other similar payment under other legal authority, before any deductions. Basic pay includes night and environmental differentials for prevailing rate employees under 5 U.S.C. 5343(f) and 5 CFR 532.511. Basic pay excludes additional pay of any other kind.
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