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Pay & Leave Pay Administration

Fact Sheet: Rates of Pay to Use in Processing Pay Actions

When processing these pay actions or benefits...Use General Schedule Rate
(or LEO Special Base Rate) 1
Use Special Rate Under
5 U.S.C. 5305
Use Locality Rate
Under 5 U.S.C. 5304
Use Retained Rate Under
5 U.S.C. 5363
Standby Pay Under 5 U.S.C. 5545(c) or Availability Pay Under
5 U.S.C. 5545a
Use AUO Pay Under
5 U.S.C. 5545(c)
Advances in pay YES YES YES --- YES YES
Cost-of-living allowances and post differentials in non-foreign areas YES YES YES YES NO NO
Post differentials and danger pay allowances in foreign areas YES YES NO 2 YES NO NO
Hazard pay differentials YES YES YES YES NO NO
Highest previous rate YES NO 3 3 NO NO NO
Life insurance (FEGLI) YES YES YES YES YES 4
Locality payment YES NO --- NO NO NO
Performance-based cash awards computed as a percentage of basic pay YES YES YES NO 5 NO NO
Premium pay and premium pay limitations
(title 5)
Promotion YES YES 6 YES 6 YES 7 NO NO
Within-grade increase YES NO 8 NO 8 NO NO NO
Recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives YES YES YES NO 5 NO NO
Retained rate of pay YES YES 9 YES 9 --- NO NO
Severance pay YES YES YES YES YES NO
Supervisory differentials 10 YES YES YES YES NO NO


1. Special base rates for law enforcement officers (LEOS) at grades GS-3 through GS-10 are authorized under section 403 of the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990. LEO special base rates are used in the same manner as General Schedule rates except that special rates under 5 U.S.C. 5305 are computed using General Schedule rates unless expressly stated otherwise.

2. A locality rate is used to compute post differentials for foreign areas under 5 U.S.C. 5925(a) and danger pay allowances under 5 U.S.C. 5928 for an employee temporarily working in a foreign area (i.e., the employee is on detail, including a work assignment that places the employee in temporary duty travel status), when the employee’s official worksite is located in a locality pay area. (See 5 CFR 531.610.)

3. A special rate may be used as an employee's highest previous rate only in certain reassignments within the agency and as provided in 5 CFR 531.221(c) and 531.222(c). A locality rate may be used as an employee's highest previous rate only to the extent described in 5 CFR 531.221 and 531.222.

4. Premium pay under 5 U.S.C. 5545(c)(2) for administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO) work is included in the computations for retirement and life insurance deductions and benefits only if the employee meets the definition of "law enforcement officer" for CSRS or FERS purposes.

5. Use the maximum rate of basic pay for employee's position instead of retained rate. (See 5 CFR 536.307(b).)

6. See promotion rules in 5 CFR 531.214.

7. See promotion rules in 5 CFR 531.214(d)(5).

8. Within-grade increases are computed using "rates of basic pay," as defined in 5 CFR 531.403 to include a GS rate or a LEO special base rate, excluding additional pay of any kind such as locality payments and special rate supplements.

9. If an employee's worksite changes at the same time as possible entitlement to pay retention, the agency must first process a geographic conversion. (See 5 CFR part 536, subpart C.)

10. Answers apply only to the expression of a supervisory differential as a percentage of the GS supervisor's basic pay. To determine eligibility for and the maximum amount of any supervisory differential, the GS supervisor's continuing pay must be compared to the non-GS subordinate's continuing pay. See 5 CFR 575.405(c) and (d) for definitions of "continuing pay."

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