Federal execs face pay overhaul

BALTIMORE — Some career federal professionals could make as much money as the vice president of the United States under a new pay system being developed for the Senior Executive Service. But it comes at a price.

The new system would raise the highest SES level to $203,000 annually — about the same salary as Vice President Dick Cheney and the Speaker of the House. But it could be harder to reach the maximum pay rate.

In overhauling the SES system, the federal government will eliminate geographic differentials and calculate raises based on pay-for-performance criteria that would apply to nearly 6,000 SES employees.

Under the new plan, there will be no automatic pay increases and no minimum or maximum pay increase. Agencies will have to certify a person's qualifications and make meaningful distinctions among executives based on their performances.

Employees who face performance or disciplinary actions would face a pay cut of up to 10 percent.

At the first Federal Workforce Conference meeting this week, Office of Personnel Management officials outlined the new SES system. Interim rules went into effect in January, and final ones are expected to be published later this year.

Most people want to know how it affects them individually, said Jerry Mikowicz, an OPM official who outlined the new system today at conference session.

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