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Who makes how much at DOD?

Furloughs

Several readers had thoughts on our story, "Uncertainty persists with DOD furloughs."
 
I would agree reducing salaries of people making below $35,000 a year would be unfair and counterproductive, wrote one. Does anyone have a quantitative distribution chart or table on what DOD employees make? My suspicion is that many make more than $100,000.

Another reader said: DOD employees do not make close to $100,000. It all depends on the pay system the employee is in, but in the D.C. area, the six-figure salary is reserved for senior leadership in most cases, or those with advanced master's or doctoral degrees. Many staff make as low as $33K/year. I do not believe this is dissimilar to the civilian sector. Also, I believe there can be a sequestration without a furlough. Spending cuts, yes... but at the expense of your loyal employees?

Amber Corrin's response: Like more than 70 percent of the federal government, Defense Department salaries are mostly based on the General Schedule pay scale. The majority of government employees fall between GS levels 11 and 14. That means that a majority, or 36 percent, make between roughly $50,000 at the low end and $107,000 at the high end. Within that band, about 5 percent are at the GS-14 level, which has a range of $85,000 to $107,000. The GS schedule goes up to level 15, a category in which about 3 percent fell in 2008, according to Monster.com figures that break down the data.

On the flip side, GS levels 1 through 5 all top out under or around $35,000 a year. Together the sum of government employees on GS schedules 5 or below, as of 2008, was just over 10 percent.

As for whether DOD can implement sequestration without furloughs, that is a question Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has convened a review to answer. So far Hagel has cut the number of proposed furlough days to 14, down from 22. He has publicly expressed reservations about furloughing employees, so it is possible a way could still be found to avoid furloughs altogether once a comprehensive review due at the end of May is completed.

Posted by Amber Corrin on Apr 25, 2013 at 12:10 PM


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