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CPM 2011-11
Office of the Director
United States
Office of Personnel Management
Washington, DC 20415-1000


John Berry

2011 Annual Review of Special Rates

This memorandum announces the 2011 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 adjusted or discontinued based on staffing considerations.  In conducting the annual review of special rates, we generally rely on the reviews conducted by agencies with special rate employees.  

Due to the freeze on general pay increases for Federal civilian employees, special rate schedules generally will not be increased in January 2012.  Special rate schedules in nonforeign areas will be increased in conjunction with reductions in cost-of-living allowances, as provided by law.  Otherwise, an exception to the freeze on special rate schedules will be considered only in extraordinary circumstances.  (See Attachment 1 for additional information.)  Unless an agency wishes to request such an exception or wishes to request a reduction or termination of a special rate schedule, there is no requirement to submit information to OPM as part of this annual review.  A list of special rate tables by agency is available on the OPM website at  Detailed instructions are provided in the attachments.

Agencies must submit all annual review materials requested in this memorandum to OPM by October 7, 2011.  Agency headquarters staff should notify OPM promptly of any problems encountered in conducting the annual review process.  Please contact OPM by telephone at (202) 606-2838, by fax at (202) 606-4264, or by email at

Attachment 1 - Supplementary Information for Annual Review of Special Rates 
Attachment 2 - Special Rate Tables in Nonforeign Areas (Explained in Attachment 1) 
Attachment 3 - Phase I Special Rate Schedules (Explained in Attachment 1) 
Attachment 4 - Phase II Special Rate Schedules (Explained in Attachment 1)

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