Pentagon: Despite freeze, National Security Personnel employees can get raises
The Pentagon says the pay freeze for federal workers will not prevent Defense Department civilians covered by the quickly disappearing National Security Personnel System from getting performance increases.
The money for the raises comes from a pay pool that equals 2.26 percent of the total salary of eligible employees. That figure does not represent an across-the-board raise, though almost everyone still under NSPS will get a performance increase.
"The 2.26 percent represents the overall percentage of salary dollars available within a given pay pool for performance based pay increases," according to Major Monica Bland, DoD spokeswoman.
The increases are based on performance. NSPS employees must have an annual rating of "3," which is a "valued performer," or higher, to be eligible for a performance award. The top rating is "5," a "role model."
In 2010, 98.5 percent of NSPS were rated "3" or higher, according to the Pentagon. Those rated "fair" or "unacceptable" will not get a performance increase.
A Pentagon statement emphasized that the performance increases are consistent with the pay freeze affecting federal workers generally.
"NSPS performance awards are based solely on each employee's individual performance and are neither automatic nor guaranteed," Bland said. "The funds used for these payouts are not derived from funds that would have been used for a GS [General Schedule] or NSPS general pay increase."
Congress ordered a phasing out of NSPS after repeated complaints by employees who did not trust the pay for performance system, even though NSPS workers often received higher pay raises than their GS colleagues.
Of about 226,000 employees once under NSPS, about 54,000 remain.
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| January 14, 2011; 3:26 PM ET
Categories: Workplace Issues
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