The head of the Office of Personnel Management has issued guidance on how agency heads should address pay extensions established in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.
The four extensions, released by Jeff Pon on March 26, are largely defense- and foreign service-related, and they provide for the continued discretion of leadership in payment and benefits caps for certain employees.
1. Extension of the Reserve Income Replacement Program
Authorization for the Reserve Income Replacement Program, designed to make up the difference between reserve members’ monthly civilian income and monthly military compensation on prolonged active duty, was extended for another year. The expiration date for the program is now Dec. 31, 2018.
2. Extension of pay limitation waivers for federal civilian employees working overseas
Agency heads will continue to have the option to waive pay caps for civilian employees working overseas in an area of responsibility of U.S. Central Command or an area that was formerly an area of responsibility of that command for another year.
The annual limitation for basic and premium pay waivers under that authority will also be increased to $243,500, which is the officially established annual salary rate for the vice president in 2018.
3. Extension of authority to grant allowances, benefits and gratuities to personnel in war zones
A government employee on official duty in Pakistan or a combat zone can have their allowances, benefits and gratuities raised to rates comparable to those that the secretary of state provides to members of the Foreign Service. Agency heads have this authority until Sept. 30, 2019.
4. Extension of 1.5 overtime pay rate for Navy employees supporting the nuclear aircraft carrier forward deployed in Japan
Navy employees assigned to temporary duty to perform work aboard, or dockside in direct support of, the nuclear aircraft carrier that is forward deployed in Japan will continue to receive 1.5 times the rate of basic pay while working overtime until Sept. 3, 2019.