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NSPS - National Security Personnel System


NSPS is the Department of Defense's (DoD) flexible and responsive civilian management system that: (1) values performance and contribution, (2) encourages communication, (3) supports broader skill development, and (4) promotes excellence in the workplace

NSPS modernizes a 50-year-old civil service system, allowing DoD to better attract, recruit, retain, compensate, reward and manage employees. The system focuses on people, performance, and employment decisions that are cost-effective and best for business practice.


(source: Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service)

To read today's top news stories on federal employee pay, benefits, retirement, job rights and other workplace issues visit FederalDaily.com.
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engineer850  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, June 01, 2011 5:00:01 AM(UTC)
engineer850

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Updated Post:

For those who did not receive special salary rate (SSR) under NSPS but upon the transition to GS have a special salary rate deducted from their basic pay I would suggest the following:

If you were overseas when you return please use the next paragraph of information.

My stateside base has successfully fixed my pay after my recent return CONUS! All raises I received while overseas were given back to me and my salary was restored to its prior SSR amount. Thanks much to their efforts in addressing this problem! My base applied AFI36-802 1.2.11 and 10 USC 1586. This fix applies to those who were overseas during the NSPS to GS transition mess. 

To all others affected but not overseas I recommend the following the information below.

To all of those who were placed on special salary rate pay tables and had their basic pay reduced when you transitioned from NSPS to GS please help fix the problem by doing the following (these steps are for those who reassigned under NSPS and never had a special salary rate added to basic pay prior to the transition to GS but subsequently had a portion removed and called SSR upon transition to GS):

  1. File a complaint with your agency if you have not done so, in writing.  A generic email for DOD CPMS is cpmsnote@cpms.osd.mil for starters if you cannot receive a written reply at your base level. I can provide more contacts if needed.
  2. After receiving a denial of claim you may file a claim with OPM using the steps in the paragraph below. The website is: http://www.opm.gov/payclaims/, but all claims need to be mailed in, and send it certified or registered otherwise it has been known to get lost in the mail.
  3. Another step is to pursue 10 USC 1586 if you are returning stateside and have your base apply the USC which basically states you should not lose pay for taking an overseas assignment.
It is my hope we can get this resolved for everyone without private legal action but more people need to submit claims to OPM to get this moving along. If only a few of us are complaining then it must not be a big problem, right? So, make your voice heard. File the complaints.

OPM Claim Process

Regulations pertaining to this function are found in CFR 178. Pertinent information in CFR 178 includes:

(a) Content of claims. A claim shall be submitted by the claimant in writing and must be signed by the claimant or by the claimant's representative. While no specific form is required, the request should describe the basis for the claim and state the amount sought. The claim should also include:

  1. The name, address, telephone number, and facsimile machine number, if available, of the claimant;
     
  2. The name, address, telephone number, and facsimile machine number, if available, of the agency employee who denied the claim;
     
  3. A copy of the denial of the claim, issued by the employing agency; and,
     
  4. Any other information, which the claimant believes OPM should consider
Good luck and start filing

engineer8502011-12-13 16:31:55
The HalfBreed  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, June 01, 2011 11:32:54 AM(UTC)
The HalfBreed

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I feel the US Gov't made the correct decision when they made the changes. I know of some who made the same complaints (and said they'd make more in the private sector), and were told that they should apply for a job in the private sector.

For whatever reasons, people's salary grew by huge margins under NSPS, but, when they went back the "Real" World, found out what it's like for "The Rest"...
Should I be as heartless as them and make statements like mentioned above?
Are you over-reaching in you "thinking" you need to be special ?

Help me out here......

RETIRED 12/19/2012 !!! Good Bye Tension !!! Hello Pension !!!
engineer850  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, June 01, 2011 12:39:35 PM(UTC)
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Converting from GS to NSPS to GS or whatever system is fine as long as it is applied correctly and compliant with legal standards. The issue here is that OPM directed that SSR is to be applied  DOD applied it incorrectly across the Air Force and Army and perhaps all of DOD but I have not consulted with all branches of service. SSR is to be added to basic pay, not deducted. Certainly anybody can work in the private sector and I have for 11 years post BSEE graduation and prior to government service but I will not let my pay be permanently reduced by ~$6k because of someone's improper implementation of SSR. Whether or not SSR should or should not be applied is up to OPM but it must be applied legally and consistently which has not happened in this GS to NSPS to GS disaster. If you would like it go earn a BSEE degree and pass the Professional Engineer's exam and work as an EE, there are plenty of positions within the government and private sector, and I urge anyone to do so.
engineer8502011-07-22 10:49:35
huetert  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, June 01, 2011 5:40:43 PM(UTC)
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Cmon Half Breed do you even know what happened with the SSR people? If I was a janitor or a school teacher I wouldn't have lost any money at all. I took an 18K base salary cut. I'm making less money then I did 5 years ago when I started working as a GS. The last two jobs I applied for didn't understand HPR so they told me I had to start over as a GS-11 step 1 (which I was back in 2006). It's still up in the air wether or not I'm going to keep this 18K pay cut when I excercise my return rights. Irregardless if I go back and they restore my previous salary at that position I still lose 3 years worth of raises. (because I'm special). Special salary got hosed because OPM failed to properly assign a virtual grade and rate, end of story.
engineer850  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, June 01, 2011 7:06:56 PM(UTC)
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I would say that the Virtual grade assignment is not so much the issue but rather the procedure used to implement SSR. DOD CPMS should have explained that employees transitioning are to first be set on a standard or virtual pay table and then apply a SSR. Instead DOD CPMS directed that CPO either choose a standard pay table or SSR pay table, whichever is higher and then assign accordingly, which sets the base pay wrong and step level wrong. The SSR was then deducted from basic pay which is completely wrong, and expires when an OCONUS employee returns CONUS. Not utilizing Virtual grades sets the grade wrong and incorrect SSR amount but it is not the main problem here. If SSR were implemented according to law you would be receiving the SSR added to your basic pay, the pay you had under NSPS, if you were not receiving SSR previously.
engineer8502011-07-22 10:50:32
huetert  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, June 01, 2011 9:44:01 PM(UTC)
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9901.372 Once a virtual GS grade has been established, a virtual GS rate will be set (before any pay-related action that would take effect on the date of the employee's conversion or movement out of NSPS). As of the day before the date of conversion or movement out of NSPS, the employee's NSPS adjusted salary will be compared to the highest applicable GS rate range for the established virtual grade. The highest applicable table for us is not the 99A or whatever they are calling it now. Unless you were receiving SSR before you converted the highest applicable table should have been RUS. If you were converted on the RUS pay scale with your virtual grade and rate and then converted to the 99A pay scale everybody would be happy. I think the reason i have been shut down all the way from OPM is because of the SSR folks who made out like bandits. Those that converted overseas and then pcs'd to the states got locality adjustment on top of their Special Salary Rate because it was subsumed into their base pay as long as it was within the pay band.

If your salary had been placed on the RUS table you wouldn't have lost any money would you?
lazykuma1  
#7 Posted : Thursday, July 21, 2011 7:14:39 AM(UTC)
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I saw numerous posts on this web site regarding loosing money when converting back to the GS pay system.  Here are my thoughts and my past experience.  I am a 2210.  I was working in CONUS and accepted an OCONUS position that was already under NSPS.  This was a Voluntary Reassignment since I chose to relocate.  My NSPS Base Pay was set using the Generic GS Pay scale.  I fought my local HR department and asked them why they were using this scale since I am a 2210.  Their reply was that SSR was no longer applicable under NSPS and they were following the law when it came to setting my NSPS base pay.   I lost 17% of my salary due to this law.  Employees who were converted to NSPS “In Place” did not loose any money when they transitioned from GS to NSPS (example:  You were working OCONUS as a 2210.  Your command was transitioning to NSPS.  Your NSPS Base salary was calculated using the following: WIGI buyout, Generic GS Base Scale, SSR Foreign Area).  Total the amount and this was your starting base salary under NSPS.  People who were converted “In Place” did not loose any money.  In my case, I lost my SSR and my WIGI buyout.  Here is where I have to agree with OPM.  If you were converted “In Place” then all you have to do is reverse the process.  Look at your current salary, subtract your SSR.  This will determine your step (assuming you are still at the same GS level).  Your PD will determine your GS level.  If you were a new hire under NSPS, then OPM is correct.  This was your time to bargain your starting salary.  Here is where I disagree with OPM.  In my case, if I converted back to the GS pay system using their current SSR rules, I would have been at a lower step than when I entered Federal Service.  By using the Generic Pay Schedule, my step was between a Step 8 and a Step 9.  The point that I wanted to argue was: OPM should use the same pay schedule they used when they set my original NSPS base pay and not use the SSR tabe.  I wrote my Congressman, OPM transition office, and my DOD component expressing this injustice.  All parties could care less!  Since then, I transferred (again) to an existing GS position while I was still under NSPS.  The offered me a Step 9 (the way it should be).  If I remained in CONUS, I would only be a Step 6.  I made out 3 steps but I lost 17% of my salary for 3 years!  In addition I am also receiving my SSR Foreign Area adjustment.  And by the way…Congress changed the law 8 months after I “voluntarily reassigned” to a NSPS position.  The law was changed to include SSR for employees who were voluntarily moving between GS and NSPS.  OPM’s explanation on the change was they were still in the learning process.  The law did not have a “Grand Father” clause written into it.  I would have been screwed if my current command did not come to my rescue!  As a side note, I did not reap any benefits under NSPS.  I worked at a remote command and by the time the Paypool finished dividing the money, there wasn’t anything to allocate to the remote sites.  I was able to get to my current step by transferring 2 times during my 3 years of NSPS Hell.  I received a 5% increase with each transfer.  The moral of the story is NSPS sucked.  I am glad that they got rid of it.  Some people made out like bandits while a majority of us reaped no benefits at all even though we were busting our rear ends.

kinge  
#8 Posted : Sunday, July 24, 2011 8:53:57 PM(UTC)
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"lose" not "loose"
engineer850  
#9 Posted : Saturday, August 13, 2011 7:05:59 AM(UTC)
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 In reviewing the information you provided it appears to me that you
are being given bad information. Who provided you the information
regarding the changed laws? I have researched any law referenced by DOD CPMS and do not find anything to support what you have been told. NSPS was
funded for SSR but it appears DOD CPMS did not direct base level CPO to apply.
There is a big communication gap between OPM, DOD CPMS, and base
level CPO as to what happened and what should happen. Currently DOD
CPMS is in direct conflict with 5 CFR 530. If you did not receive SSR under NSPS than they cannot legally take it away under GS.


I am surprised you did not receive any help from your congressman or
OPM. I am currently working with Congressman Rob Bishop's office and
he has initiated a congressional inquiry. I am also working with OPM
in the hopes of avoiding a class action lawsuit as I would like this
to be taken care of internally without wasting taxpayer dollars on
outside legal resources. For both the congressional inquiry and OPM
complaint you need to provide the proper documentation but I have
found them both to be concerned and addressing the issue although no
results have happened as I initiated both actions within the past
couple of months. I have fellow engineers in the same situation in various countries both with the Army and Air
Force and am pushing aggressively now that I have returned CONUS to
get this fixed, not just for me but for everyone involved. Many 2210's have been base level fixed but the engineers have not and this really needs to be fixed before they return home or re-assign.  



lazykuma1  
#10 Posted : Sunday, August 14, 2011 7:53:05 AM(UTC)
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Engineer850,  It looks like you do not know all the laws when it comes to setting base pay under NSPS.  The law was changed in the summer of 2008.  Please refer to the Federal Register dated Sept. 26, 2008 Volume 73 Number 188 "C. Pay Administration".  In addition, you can also reference DOD 1400.25-M Dated 6/10/08; SC1930.10.4.1.2.  Compare DOD 1400.25-M Dated 4/28/06 SC1930.10.4.1.1 with DOD 1400.25-M Dated 6/10/08 and you will see how DOD screwed federal employees.  In reference to your Congressman helping you, GREAT, but my Congressman (State of Washington) could care less.  In addition, I have numerous emails from DOD and OPM saying that the laws are fair and I am not losing any money.  I lost money for 3 years.  If I remained at my previous assignment, I would have been converted back at a lower step than when I enetered federal service.
engineer850  
#11 Posted : Monday, August 15, 2011 1:57:49 AM(UTC)
engineer850

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Lazykuma1,
Thanks for the feedback. In reading the information you provided I see that what you provided is DOD guidance and interpretation, not the actual laws themselves. I am researching your references but they are based on public laws 108-136 and 110-181 as well as 5 CFR and various USC's. The errors come into play with the interpretation of the laws and assumptions made under NSPS. If you didn't receive SSR under NSPS they can't legally remove it during the transition. DOD CPMS can not also assume you agreed to a pay cut and that your basic pay includes SSR under NSPS. Any pay cut would have to be agreed to by the employee per 5 CFR. Did you agree to a pay cut when you reassigned under NSPS? Most likely not. The correct application of pay compensation needs to be based on signed law, not interpretations or guide books.
engineer850  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, August 17, 2011 7:37:58 AM(UTC)
engineer850

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LazyKuma1,
I have researched the public laws mentioned previously and do not find anything that legally allows the removal of SSR from basic salary if it was not provided previously. SSR was designed and sanctioned to be a benefit, not a detriment. DOD CPMS has made it a detriment to some because of DOD's improper application of it during NSPS and the transition to GS.
Ramstein0830  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, August 17, 2011 11:12:47 PM(UTC)
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Terms to know:

First, for those who don’t understand Special Salary Rate (SSR), it’s a rate of pay that is different than the standard GS Salary rate.  If “base pay + locality” on standard GS pay table is higher than the same grade and step on the SSR table, an employee would get the higher of the two.   The locality pay supplement varies and is not always available to an employee.  While stationed overseas (OCONUS) locality is not given to an employee, so under the GS pay system more salaries are set according to the SSR salary table. 

Before NSPS (GS):

People that transferred OCONUS from CONUS (stateside) before NSPS was implemented transferred under the GS rules.  When this transfer was made anything above and beyond the base pay, (e.g. locality, stateside SSR) was stripped and base pay was set to the Foreign SSR table according to the individual’s series.  This is all fine and well and everything was agreed to by the individual and the gaining base.

GS to NSPS Conversion:

OCONUS SSR employees where transitioned to NSPS “without any loss in pay”.  This meant that anything that the employee made at the time “Base + SSR supplement” was combined into the “new base pay” under NSPS.  These employees now had a higher base pay than their equivalents stateside in the same position.  Folks CONUS still had locality.  “Base +Locality” for CONUS folks was still higher or else they would have already defaulted to their corresponding SSR.

During NSPS:

OCONUS folks only serve an initial 3 year tour and some planned to return home under NSPS.  They returned home with their new base pay and immediately received locality pay from their gaining base. So these folks were making more than there equivalent position that stayed at the home base and never served a tour overseas.  The system gave them an unearned raise or “windfall”.

Meanwhile, those who replaced the individuals leaving signed a contract to serve overseas for a minimum of 3 years.  They lost their locality and only received their base pay.  SSR was something on the GS system and had no relevance for NSPS to NSPS transfers.  Everything was fine until NSPS was repealed.

NSPS to GS (the repeal):

Under the repeal of NSPS, OPM wanted to reverse what they had done under the GS to NSPS conversion.  To implement the repeal of NSPS the Civilian Personnel offices referred to the legacy position description, if available, and took out (unraveled) the SSR they recalled combining into that position’s “new base pay” while transitioning from GS to NSPS 3 years prior.  The problem is this process was implemented on the wrong people.  Most GS to NSPS folks had moved on, keeping their windfall of extra base pay, while their unsuspecting replacements had SSR taken from their base pay.  Wait a second, a person cannot lose pay right?  So the OCONUS NSPS to NSPS person’s overall pay “Base + SSR” supplement was raised to give the appearance of fairness.  Great, now the OCONUS replacement has the same or slightly more take home pay.  This solves the OPM promises of no lost pay for the time being.  The problem comes when a person returns to their home base with a lower base pay than they had before they went OCONUS.  Yes, right now if I returned home I would have less base pay and therefore less take-home pay than before I moved OCONUS over 2 years ago. 

Almost a year later under GS:

Most can see the problem with this.  So what do we do?  File a claim with the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB).  File a case with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  Start a Congressional inquiry into the matter.  Some have pursued all these avenues, but most of the agencies listed above are not listening or are pointing at other agencies.  I personally think OPM should have the guts to say, “We made a mistake” and then proceed to fix it.  The word on the street is a certain female sitting in the Pentagon started this mess and has since ignored all complaints.  Surely all can see the problem.  Whoever is responsible; please remedy the situation and correct the “base pay” of everyone affected OCONUS.  Feel free to recall the SSR windfall from individuals that actually received it.

Thanks,

 

Ramstein08302011-08-18 07:28:27
engineer850  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, December 13, 2011 8:26:34 AM(UTC)
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I updated the original post and provide this post as well to ensure people are aware of the update.

If you were overseas when you return please use the next paragraph of information.

My stateside base has successfully fixed my pay after my recent return CONUS! All raises I received while overseas were given back to me and my salary was restored to its prior SSR amount. Thanks much to their efforts in addressing this problem! My base applied AFI36-802 1.2.11 and 10 USC 1586. This fix applies to those who were overseas during the NSPS to GS transition mess. 

To all others affected but not overseas I recommend the following the information below.

To all of those who were placed on special salary rate pay tables and had their basic pay reduced when you transitioned from NSPS to GS please help fix the problem by doing the following (these steps are for those who reassigned under NSPS and never had a special salary rate added to basic pay prior to the transition to GS but subsequently had a portion removed and called SSR upon transition to GS):

  1. File a complaint with your agency if you have not done so, in writing.  A generic email for DOD CPMS is cpmsnote@cpms.osd.mil for starters if you cannot receive a written reply at your base level. I can provide more contacts if needed.
  2. After receiving a denial of claim you may file a claim with OPM using the steps in the paragraph below. The website is: http://www.opm.gov/payclaims/, but all claims need to be mailed in, and send it certified or registered otherwise it has been known to get lost in the mail.
  3. Another step is to pursue 10 USC 1586 if you are returning stateside and have your base apply the USC which basically states you should not lose pay for taking an overseas assignment.
It is my hope we can get this resolved for everyone without private legal action but more people need to submit claims to OPM to get this moving along. If only a few of us are complaining then it must not be a big problem, right? So, make your voice heard. File the complaints.

OPM Claim Process

Regulations pertaining to this function are found in CFR 178. Pertinent information in CFR 178 includes:

(a) Content of claims. A claim shall be submitted by the claimant in writing and must be signed by the claimant or by the claimant's representative. While no specific form is required, the request should describe the basis for the claim and state the amount sought. The claim should also include:

  1. The name, address, telephone number, and facsimile machine number, if available, of the claimant;
     
  2. The name, address, telephone number, and facsimile machine number, if available, of the agency employee who denied the claim;
     
  3. A copy of the denial of the claim, issued by the employing agency; and,
     
  4. Any other information, which the claimant believes OPM should consider
Good luck and start filing
engineer850  
#15 Posted : Thursday, February 16, 2012 11:22:19 AM(UTC)
engineer850

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The following information was provide by the civil engineering career field but applies to all OCONUS positions covered by SSR during the NSPS to GS transition.

"If you converted out of NSPS while overseas and you exercised return rights
and/or plan to exercise return rights, please make sure that your pay
setting is done in accordance with AFI 36-802 which requires that "when an
employee exercises overseas return rights, pay is set upon return to the
former grade in the United States at a rate at least equal to the step rate
to which the employee would have progressed had the employee not gone
overseas."  This has the potential to have a significant impact on
individuals in positions covered by special salary rate tables as well as
those who are on NSPS retained pay."

This applies to people overseas but I would like to hear how it is going for those who were stateside and had SSR removed from their base salary when it was not provided previously. The OCONUS employees can be fixed fairly easily but the CONUS employees should file a claim to OPM to address this mess, using the previously provided information. 
Fed1969  
#16 Posted : Saturday, February 18, 2012 6:17:23 AM(UTC)
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I think many did well with NSPS.  They got a pay raise going to NSPS, bigger pay raises with NSPS, and another pay raise going back to GS.

However, sum got the shaft.
Angel1955  
#17 Posted : Saturday, February 18, 2012 6:31:49 AM(UTC)
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We did not go NSPS - -we went another route  - thank heavens
Fed1969  
#18 Posted : Sunday, February 26, 2012 1:42:29 AM(UTC)
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NSPS seemed to work well for those employees which were part of the favorite team.  Some went from the equivalent of step one to above step ten in two or three years.
The HalfBreed  
#19 Posted : Friday, May 18, 2012 12:58:00 PM(UTC)
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Fed1969 wrote:
NSPS seemed to work well for those employees which were part of the favorite team.  Some went from the equivalent of step one to above step ten in two or three years.


I've seen it.

When THEY got the Bucks, everything was great.

When they were treated like the step child, all of a sudden, it's mass murder.

It must've been nice to think that those folks thought they were "The Chosen One".

Reality BITES.
RETIRED 12/19/2012 !!! Good Bye Tension !!! Hello Pension !!!
engineer850  
#20 Posted : Friday, May 18, 2012 1:38:27 PM(UTC)
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Halfbreed, please read the posts of this thread before you pass judgement. For those of certain job series who went overseas while under NSPS and transitioned back while still overseas a portion of their pay was removed and called special salary rate, which expires when they return stateside, regardless if they promoted, demoted, or lateraled to go overseas originally.

Fed1969, if you know of people who were given excessive pay raises you should report it. They should not receive more than 5% per year when changing positions. There were certainly mistakes made for some people in the transition to NSPS and in the transition out of NSPS. I did not receive any windfall going into NSPS and am not accepting a pay reduction transitioning out of NSPS, which in my case has now been fixed.
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