Federal senior executive raises dropped to a five-year low, a report states. (Photo illustration)
Senior Executive Service members' average pay raises in 2009 were the lowest in at least five years, according to a report from the Office of Personnel Management.
The 7,436 SES members whose ratings, raises and bonuses OPM studied received an average salary increase of 2.7 percent — or $4,485 — for their performance in fiscal 2009, according to the report, released last month. That's a full percentage point lower, and almost $1,350 less, than the average SES performance-based raise for fiscal 2008. The average raise in fiscal 2004 — the year with the earliest available data — was 3.7 percent. Average raises dropped to 3.1 percent — or $4,738 — in fiscal 2006, and increased to 3.5 percent in fiscal 2007.
More senior executives received bonuses that were slightly smaller than the previous year. The average bonus dropped from $14,815 to $14,802 in 2009, but the percentage of career SES members receiving them increased from 76.5 percent to 78.5 percent.
The ranks of career senior executives receiving the highest performance rating, outstanding or equivalent, continued to climb in fiscal 2009, to 48.7 percent. In fiscal 2008, 48.1 percent of career executives got that rating.
The Office of Management and Budget, U.S. Agency for International Development and Education Department saw the biggest increases in the percentage of career executives receiving the highest performance rating.