The Defense Department has announced a plan to decrease significantly the pool used to pay out bonuses to senior executives, and one professional association is not happy.
Currently, the Pentagon doles out a sum equal to 5 percent of the total salaries of career senior employees, which includes members of the Senior Executive and Senior Professional services. For 2013, however, the Defense Department will reduce the pool to just 1 percent of the aggregate annual pay. Only those with level five ratings -- the highest possible score -- in the most recent evaluation period, which ended Sept. 30, are eligible for bonuses.
In a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Senior Executives Association President Carol Bonosaro called the decision to shrink the pool “penny-wise and pound foolish,” and asked the department to restore full funding for the performance awards.
“Career SES and SP executives do not enjoy the same type of employment security and longevity-based pay raises granted to employees in the GS,” Bonosaro said, “making their performance awards programs all the more important in ensuring fair compensation for the extra risk and difficulty involved in highly demanding jobs.”
She noted guidance from the Office of Management and Budget directing agencies to use the 5 percent figure for senior executives, not 1 percent.
In a November memorandum announcing the decision, the Pentagon said due to the new constraints of the award pool, some executives who received the same evaluation scores may receive different bonuses.
“DoD’s announced policy runs the risk of accelerating the retirement, resignation and transfer to other agencies of some of the department’s most experienced and effective senior managerial and professional talent,” Bonosaro said.