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The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may establish higher rates of basic pay-special rates-for a group or category of General Schedule (GS) positions in one or more geographic areas to address existing or likely significant handicaps in recruiting or retaining well-qualified employees. OPM may establish special rates for nearly any category of employee-i.e., by series, specialty, grade-level, and/or geographic area.
OPM may establish special rates to address staffing problems caused by-
Additional information on establishing and adjusting special rates is contained in OPM regulations at 5 CFR 530.304.
Special rate requests must include the information required by OPM's Worksheet for Special Rate Requests, Form 1397. The requests must come to OPM through agency headquarters.