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CPM 2009-12
Office of the Director
United States
Office of Personnel Management
Washington, DC 20415-1000


John Berry

2009 Annual Review of Special Rates
This memorandum announces the 2009 annual review of special rates authorized under 5 U.S.C. 5305 and 5 CFR part 530, subpart C. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) authorizes special rates for specific occupations, grades, and locations to alleviate existing or likely significant recruitment or retention difficulties. Under 5 CFR 530.307(a), OPM may, at any time, conduct general or targeted reviews of established special rates to determine whether they should be increased, decreased, or discontinued based on staffing considerations.

In conducting the annual review of special rates, we rely on the reviews conducted by agencies with special rate employees. Attachment 1 provides detailed instructions for the 2009 annual review of special rates. For this review, we are asking agencies to conduct a general review of special rate schedules to determine the special rate adjustments in January 2010. Unless an agency requests otherwise, all special rate schedules will be adjusted by the same percentage as the January 2010 General Schedule (GS) pay adjustment under 5 U.S.C. 5303 (or similar provision of law).

Agencies must submit information to OPM only when requesting (1) an adjustment greater than or less than the January 2010 GS annual pay adjustment for a special rate schedule or (2) the reduction or termination of a special rate schedule. OPM will review agency submissions and make determinations regarding the appropriate adjustments. Attachment 2 provides an index of the current special rate schedules by agency.

Agencies must submit all annual review materials requested in this memorandum to OPM by October 9, 2009. Agency headquarters staff should bring any problems encountered in implementing the annual review process to our attention as they arise. Please contact OPM by telephone at (202) 606-2838, by fax at (202) 606-4264, or by email at


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