The President has signed an Executive order to implement the January 2008 pay adjustments. (See Attachment 1.) The Executive order authorizes a 2.5 percent across-the-board increase for the statutory pay systems under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 5303 and locality pay increases costing approximately 1.0 percent of payroll under 5 U.S.C. 5304, reflecting the overall average pay increase of 3.5 percent required by section 740 of Division D of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008. This memorandum reviews relevant portions of the Executive order and provides general information on the 2008 pay adjustments for the General Schedule (GS) pay system and certain other pay systems and schedules.
2008 Salary Tables and Effective Date
We have posted the 2008 salary tables on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's (OPM's) Website at www.opm.gov/oca/08tables/index.asp. The 2008 pay rates will become effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2008 (January 6, 2008).
The General Schedule and Other Statutory Pay Systems
The Executive order provides an across-the-board increase of 2.5 percent in the rates of basic pay for the statutory pay systems--the GS, the Foreign Service schedule, and certain schedules for the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Special base rates for law enforcement officers at GS grades 3 through 10 also are increased by 2.5 percent. (These law enforcement officers are assigned the "GL" pay plan code.)
Under 5 U.S.C. 5318, Executive Schedule (EX) rates of pay will be increased by 2.5 percent (rounded to the nearest $100) and will become effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2008 (January 6, 2008). The EX salary table is available on OPM's Website at www.opm.gov/oca/08tables/indexSES.asp.
Senior Executive Service
Under 5 U.S.C. 5382, the minimum rate of basic pay for the Senior Executive Service (SES) rate range will be adjusted to be consistent with the increase in the minimum rate of basic pay for senior-level positions under 5 U.S.C. 5376 ($114,468 in 2008). The applicable maximum rate of basic pay for the SES will be $172,200 (EX-II) for SES members covered by a certified SES performance appraisal system and $158,500 (EX-III) for SES members covered by an SES performance appraisal system that has not been certified. An SES member at the minimum rate of the SES rate range must receive a pay increase of 2.5 percent in January 2008, since an SES member may not receive less than the minimum rate of the SES rate range. An agency's determination to adjust the rate of basic pay for an SES member that is approved by the end of the first pay period in January 2008 (January 19, 2008) may be made effective as of the first day of that first pay period (January 6, 2008). Determinations to adjust SES pay that are approved after January 19, 2008, will become effective at the beginning of the next pay period following the approval. OPM's regulations for setting and adjusting SES pay are available at 5 CFR part 534, subpart D.
Senior-Level and Scientific or Professional Positions
The minimum rate of basic pay for the senior-level and scientific or professional (SL/ST) rate range will be increased by 2.5 percent ($114,468 in 2008), which is the amount of the across-the-board GS pay increase. The maximum rate of basic pay for the SL/ST rate range is the rate for EX-IV ($149,000 in 2008).
Administrative Law Judges
The Executive order reflects a decision by the President to increase the rates of basic pay for administrative law judges (ALJs) by 2.5 percent, rounded to the nearest $100. The rate of basic pay for AL-1 will be $149,000. The rate of basic pay for AL-2 will be $145,400. The rates of basic pay for AL-3/A through 3/F will range from $99,500 to $137,600, as shown in the table under "Administrative Appeals Judges," below.
Administrative Appeals Judges
Under 5 U.S.C. 5372b, the rates of basic pay for administrative appeals judge (AAJ) positions must be set at a rate not less than the minimum rate of basic pay for level AL-3 and not more than the maximum rate of basic pay for level AL-3 of the ALJ pay system established under 5 U.S.C. 5372. OPM's regulations at 5 CFR 534.603 link the structure of the AAJ pay system directly to the structure for level AL-3 of the ALJ pay system. The AAJ pay system includes six rates of basic pay--AA-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. These rates correspond to the rates of basic pay for AL-3/A, B, C, D, E, and F of the ALJ pay system, as shown in the following table:
|Rate of Basic Pay |
The President's Executive order establishes the amounts of the 2008 locality payments for GS employees. Attachment 2 provides a table showing the 2008 locality pay percentage and total percentage increase in each locality pay area (reflecting the combined effect of the 2.5 percent across-the-board increase and the applicable increase in the locality pay percentage). Also provided is a chart showing an example of how the 2008 locality rate and total increase are computed for an employee in the "Rest of U.S." locality pay area. (See Attachment 3.)
Locality Pay Extensions
On November 2, 2007, the Director of OPM issued a memorandum on behalf of the President's Pay Agent (the Secretary of Labor and the Directors of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and OPM) that extends the GS locality payments to ALJs, employees in SL/ST positions, and certain other non-GS categories of employees again in 2008. By law, EX officials, SES members, and employees in certain other equivalent pay systems are not authorized to receive locality payments.
Locality Pay Areas in 2008
There are no changes in locality pay areas effective on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2008 (January 6, 2008). Locality pay area definitions are posted at www.opm.gov/oca/08tables/locdef.asp.
2007 Annual Review of Special Rates
We are issuing a separate memorandum announcing the results of the 2007 annual review of special rates.
Aggregate Limitation on Pay
The aggregate limitation on pay for calendar year 2008 will be $191,300 (equivalent to the rate for EX-I). SES members and employees in SL/ST positions who are covered by a certified performance appraisal system are subject to a higher aggregate limitation on pay of the Vice President's salary ($221,100 in 2008). (See 5 U.S.C. 5307 and 5 CFR part 530, subpart B.) Information on obtaining certification of performance appraisal systems is available at www.opm.gov/ses/certification.asp.
2008 Premium Pay Caps
Under 5 U.S.C. 5547(a) and 5 CFR 550.105, GS and other covered employees may receive certain types of premium pay in a biweekly pay period only to the extent that the sum of basic pay and such premium pay for the pay period does not exceed the greater of the biweekly rate payable for (1) GS-15, step 10 (including any applicable locality payment or special rate supplement), or (2) the rate payable for EX-V ($139,600 in 2008). In certain emergency or mission-critical situations, an agency may apply an annual premium pay cap instead of a biweekly premium pay cap, subject to the conditions prescribed in law and regulation. (See 5 U.S.C. 5547(b) and 5 CFR 550.106-550.107.) We have posted the biweekly premium pay caps on OPM's Website at www.opm.gov/oca/pay/html/08GSCap.asp. (We will notify agencies in a separate memorandum about any reauthorization for 2008 of the premium pay cap authorized by section 1105 of Public Law 109-163 that may be applied to employees who perform work while in an overseas location that is in the area of responsibility of the commander of the United States Central Command, in direct support of or directly related to a military operation (including a contingency operation as defined in 10 U.S.C. 101(13).))
Post Employment Restrictions
Agencies are required to notify SES members and other individuals who are paid at a rate of basic pay equal to or greater than 86.5 percent of the rate for EX-II ($148,953 in 2008) that they are subject to certain post-employment restrictions in 18 U.S.C. 207(c). (See 18 U.S.C. 207(c)(2)(A)(ii).) OPM's regulations requiring notification of post-employment restrictions are available at 5 CFR part 730. Agencies may continue to use the sample notice OPM provided in its memorandum of January 6, 2004 (CPM 2004-01), to notify an SES member or other individual that he or she is subject to the post-employment restrictions in 18 U.S.C. 207(c). (Agencies will need to update the salary threshold and effective date, as appropriate.) The sample notice is available at www.opm.gov/oca/compmemo/2004/2004-01_attach1.asp.
Order for Processing Pay Actions
The general pay adjustments that take effect in January 2008 must be processed before any individual pay action (e.g., a within-grade increase or promotion) that takes effect on the same date. General pay adjustments include across-the-board increases under 5 U.S.C. 5303 and increases in locality payments or other geographic adjustments, special rate supplements, and retained rates. If multiple individual pay actions become effective on the date of the January 2008 pay adjustment, those actions must be processed in the order applicable to the employee's pay system (e.g., the simultaneous action rule for GS employees in 5 CFR 531.206).
We are providing the following examples of pay computations to assist agencies in administering the 2008 pay adjustments for GS employees:
Examples of January 2008 Pay Computations -- See www.opm.gov/oca/compmemo/2007/08PAYCOMP.ASP.
How to Compute Rates of Pay -- See www.opm.gov/oca/pay/HTML/computerates.asp.
How to Compute FLSA Overtime Pay -- See www.opm.gov/oca/pay/HTML/computeflsa.asp.
Internal Revenue Service Guidance
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 15, Circular E, Employer's Tax Guide (revised January 2008), will show the 2008 wage bracket income tax withholding tables for both single and married persons who are paid on a biweekly basis. IRS will mail Publication 15 to employers, and this publication also should be available at IRS offices in January 2008. (Call 1-800-829-3676 to order copies.) IRS publications may be downloaded at www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html.
For additional information, agency Chief Human Capital Officers and/or Human Resources Directors should contact their assigned OPM Human Capital Officers. Employees should contact their agency human resources offices for assistance.
cc: Chief Human Capital Officers Human Resources Directors
attachment 1 (Executive Order)
attachment 2 (Locality-Based Comparability Payments and Pay Increases in 2008 for General Schedule Employees) [33KB]
attachment 3 (General Schedule Pay Adjustment January 2008 (Rest of U.S. Locality Pay Area)) [12KB]