Most NSPS workers will return to the General Schedule by October

The majority of the 225,000 employees in the Pentagon's soon-to-be-defunct National Security Personnel System will move back to their old pay arrangements by Sept. 30, the NSPS Transition Office announced on Tuesday.

The transition office is in the process of certifying Defense Department offices' and organizations' plans for returning NSPS employees to their previous pay systems, and those offices will inform workers once the strategies are approved, according to the announcement. In the fiscal 2010 Defense authorization law, Congress gave the department until Jan. 1, 2012, to roll back the pay-for-performance system completely.

"We encourage organizations to share details of the transition with their workforce where appropriate," the transition office's director, John James Jr., said in a statement. "We will work to keep everyone informed as processes are solidified."

Matt Biggs, legislative director for the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, which has opposed NSPS, praised Defense for moving quickly.

"Under the previous administration, management would have dragged their feet," Biggs said. "However, this acceleration shows a clear desire on DoD's part to move everyone back to the GS as quickly as possible."

Not all workers will fit neatly back into their old General Schedule grades and steps, either because their salaries have increased or because their job duties have changed. Classification specialists, managers and supervisors will work together to assign those employees to new grades and steps.

Once employees are reassigned to GS grades, several rules will apply. Workers whose salaries fall between two steps within a grade will be assigned to the higher salary step. If employees' salaries fall below Step 1 of the grade to which they've been assigned, their pay will be elevated to that first step.

And workers whose salaries are higher than the 10th step in their grade will be allowed to keep that higher salary. But they will receive just half of the annual federal pay raise until their colleagues in Grade 10 have a chance to catch up.

Darryl Perkinson, president of the Federal Managers Association, said he was concerned this setup would violate Congress' intent that no employees receive a pay cut when they move out of NSPS. While it would not give employees who had outgrown their pay grade an immediate salary decrease, the period of lower annual raises would essentially impose a long-term penalty for having done well under NSPS, he said. Such a plan is "not a very good motivator for people who want to stay in civil service," Perkinson said. He said FMA had discussed the matter with congressional staffers, and that it might require legislation to clarify lawmakers' intentions.

Lt. Col. April Cunningham, a Defense spokeswoman, said department officials still were determining what to do with employees who came into NSPS from alternate pay systems, especially those that have since been discontinued.

"Transition dates for these employees will be determined after options are fully explored and decisions are made," Cunningham said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.