Pay Raises in 2012? Possible, But Only Under 'Extraordinary Circumstances'

View this article online at and visit to sign up for free news updates
By on July 14, 2011 in Current Events, Human Resources with 0 Comments

According to a memo released by OPM Director John Berry to chief human capital officers, the Office of Personnel Management may approve pay increases for certain General Schedule employees in 2012, but only in select cases.

As readers know, the President instituted a two year pay freeze on the pay of federal employees back in November. Berry’s memo notes this, however it also says, “an exception to the freeze on special rate schedules will be considered only in extraordinary circumstances.”

So what might these exceptions for “extraordinary circumstances” be? According to OPM, in order for an agency to warrant a determination that such circumstances apply, the agency “must make a compelling case that denial of a special increase would result in exceptionally severe recruitment and/or retention difficulties and would have an extremely negative impact on critical agency operations during the coming year.”

OPM also notes that any such requests have to be submitted through the requesting agency’s headquarters and be submitted no later than October 7, 2011, unless an extension is granted by OPM.

Full text of the special rates memo along with accompanying attachments

© 2020 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.