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Ken Uedoi  
#1 Posted : Friday, March 4, 2016 9:08:21 AM(UTC)
Ken Uedoi

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I need some help interpreting some of the OPM rules on pay. I may be misunderstanding something.

I started off as a GS 12/7 in Hawaii and moved overseas into an NSPS position in 2010
NSPS went away and I was put on pay retention at GS11/00
In Sept 2015, I relocated back stateside into a GS12/6 position on merit promotion.

Upon transfer my Basic pay went from 72,987 down to 71,736 and am now GS12/6

I'm being told that this is a promotion because the Washington DC area has a locality pay whereas overseas did not.
Essentially, I'm told that:
(Previous pay + 0 locality) < (new pay + locality)

It just doesn't seem right to me that my basic pay is decreased.

I'm trying to understand the OPM rules on this.
5CFR531.214(b) is saying something about promotion when accompanied with geographic conversion.
"Geographic conversion. When an employee’s official worksite is changed to a new location where different pay schedules apply, the agency must convert the employee to the applicable pay schedule(s) and rate(s) of basic pay for the new official worksite based on the employee’s position of record before promotion as provided in § 531.205 before processing a simultaneous promotion action."

I'm interpreting as saying that geographic conversion needs to be applied to the new official worksite before promotion is calculated.
Does this mean that my overseas basic pay should have been put on par with the new location before being calculated for promotion?

Am I the one misunderstanding this?

frankgonzalez  
#2 Posted : Friday, March 4, 2016 11:18:36 AM(UTC)
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It sounds like they screwed up. The result should be the same (grade/step) whether you use the base table or the new local table. Using your pay as a GS12 step 6 (to arrive at your GS11 step 00 pay), my math says you should be a GS12 step 9 using the 2 step rule. I was using the base table for my math as I don't know how you would convert a pay retention to a locality table first.
You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
thanks 1 user thanked frankgonzalez for this useful post.
Ken Uedoi on 3/4/2016(UTC)
Ken Uedoi  
#3 Posted : Friday, March 4, 2016 12:18:34 PM(UTC)
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There is another section that is being quoted to me:

5CFR531.214(5);
If employee was receiving a retained rate before promotion. (i) If an employee’s existing payable rate of basic pay before promotion is a retained rate, apply the applicable promotion methods in paragraphs (d)(3) or (d)(4) of this section as if the employee were receiving the maximum rate of the employee’s grade before promotion.

So they started the calculation at GS11/10 instead of my retained rate.

The problem arises in that they then don't apply the geographic conversion in the promotion rules.
Then my (new pay + locality) is greater than (old pay +0 locality).

This section reads back and references the earlier section on promotion rules. I would assume this means that it should have included the geographic conversion rules.
frankgonzalez  
#4 Posted : Monday, March 7, 2016 4:09:52 AM(UTC)
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Then it looks like GS12 step 6 it is under those rules. From https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-...s/15Tables/html/DCB.aspx, GS11 step 10 plus the equivalent of two more steps would put you at GS12 step 6. Try asking for Highest previous rate (which would give you step 7).
You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
Ken Uedoi  
#5 Posted : Monday, March 7, 2016 5:06:28 AM(UTC)
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That is where we're having disagreement on my pay:

If no promotion calculations:
Pay retention - $72,987
+ Geographic conversion = 90,664
GS12/7

Promotion calculations:
GS11/10 in DC - $82,840
WGI - $2124 + 2144
Promoted rate = $87,088
GS12/6

If I transferred as a GS11, then I'd be making more money with a retained rate? That somehow doesn't seem right.

If the calculations come out less than my retained rate, then I think I'm supposed to at least get the pay that is applicable to the retained rate. My HR is saying the following doesn't apply to me because they're looking only at previous retained rate (without the geographic conversion from 5CFR536.303(b)). If the geographic conversion were applied, then I have a higher retained rate and was then pay demoted during this promotion action.

5CFR531.213(5)(iii) - "If the existing retained rate is greater than the rate determined under paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section, the retained rate must be compared to the highest applicable rate range for the position after promotion, as provided in 5 CFR 536.304. The employee is entitled to the lowest step rate in the range that equals or exceeds the retained rate or, if the retained rate exceeds the range maximum, to the retained rate."


RGM  
#6 Posted : Thursday, May 19, 2016 7:26:31 PM(UTC)
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The CFR 536.303B States that for a

Geographic Conversion

If, in conjunction with a pay action that may entitle an employee to pay retention, an employee's official worksite changes to a new location where different pay schedules apply, the agency must convert the employee's rate(s) of basic pay to the applicable pay schedule before determining whether the employee is entitled to pay retention and before determining the employee's initial pay retention entitlement. (See 5 CFR 536.303(a).)

Similarly, when an employee is receiving a retained rate and the employee's official worksite changes to a new location where different pay schedules apply, the agency must convert the employee's retained rate to the new location before redetermining the employee's pay retention entitlement in the new position of record at the new official worksite. (See 5 CFR 536.303(b).)

12. Geographic conversion of a retained rate resulting in a pay increase (movement to higher locality pay area)

In 2005, a GS–11, step 00, employee with an official worksite in the “Rest of U.S.” (RUS) locality pay area and a retained rate of $66,746
moves to a new official worksite in the Washington, DC, locality pay area. The employee‘s grade is not changed, and the employee‘s former
and new positions of record are not covered by a special rate. Convert the employee‘s retained rate to the new geographic location as follows. (See 5 CFR 536.303(b) and 536.304.)

Geographic conversion rule

Step A: Identify the maximum rate for the highest applicable rate range that applies to the employee‘s former position of record based on the former official worksite. GS–11, step 10, RUS locality rate = $65,704.

Step B: Identify the maximum rate for the highest applicable rate range that would apply to the employee‘s former position of record if that position were located at the new official worksite.

GS–11, step 10, Washington, DC, locality rate = $68,209.

Step C: Divide the maximum rate identified in step B by the maximum rate identified in step A, and round the result to the fourth decimal place.
$68,209 ÷ $65,704 = 1.0381

Step D: Multiply the factor resulting from step C by the employee‘s retained rate and round to the nearest whole dollar to derive the employee‘s converted retained rate at the new official worksite.

1.0381 × $66,746 = $69,289 (retained rate after geographic conversion)

Note: The employee‘s converted retained rate in the DC location is approximately 1.6 percent above the maximum rate of the highest applicable rate range ($69,289 ÷ $68,209 = 1.016), just as the employee‘s retained rate in the RUS location was approximately 1.6 percent above the maximum rate of the highest applicable rate range ($66,746 ÷ $65,704 = 1.016). Thus, the geographic conversion rule maintains the relative position of the employee‘s retained rate compared to the applicable rate range maximum.

Pay retention rules

Step E: Identify the highest applicable rate range for the employee‘s new position in the new location. In this case, that range is the same range identified in step B (i.e., e DC locality rate range for GS–11); therefore, the employee‘s retained rate is $69,289. (Note: If a change
in position or pay schedule after geographic conversion would have resulted in a different highest applicable rate range, the retained rate from step D would be compared to that range, as provided in 5 CFR 536.304(c). The retained rate would be eliminated if it were less than the maximum of that rate.)

Highest applicable rate range for new position = GS–11 DC locality
rate range Retained rate = $69,289

HR Bubba  
#7 Posted : Friday, May 20, 2016 3:31:57 AM(UTC)

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It is my belief that they have not set your pay appropriately. I believe you are correct that they should apply the geographic conversion rule before the promotion rule. Based on the info you provided here is what I came up with:

Step A: $66,688 (GS 11 Step 10 on Base schedule 2015)
Step B: $82,840 (GS-11 Step 10 on DC locality 2015)
Step C: 1.2422 (82840/66688)
Step D: $90,644 (72,987 x 1.2422 - retained rate x amount from step C)

This amount falls between steps 6 & 7 on the DC locality, which means you pay should be set at GS-12 step 7.

Alternately, they could use your grade/step from Hawaii as your Highest Previous Rate (HPR) and that would also place you at GS-12 Step 7 on the DC locality.
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