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2004 Annual Review of Special Salary Rates

Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Chief Human Capital Officers
2004 Annual Review of Special Salary Rates

This memorandum announces the 2004 annual review of special salary rates authorized under 5 U.S.C. 5305 and 5 CFR part 530, subpart C, and requests agency recommendations on the adjustment of special rate schedules in January 2005. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) authorizes special salary rates for specific occupations, grades, and locations to alleviate existing or likely significant recruitment or retention problems. Prior to any across-the-board adjustment authorized for General Schedule basic rates of pay (but at least annually), OPM must review special salary rate schedules to determine whether the factors in the special salary rate regulations require those schedules to continue and, if so, how they should be adjusted. Each agency with special rate employees must submit certifications to OPM documenting its recommendations for the adjustment of special rates.

We are providing the following materials to assist you in providing annual review certifications:

Attachment 1 - 2004 annual review instructions.

Attachment 2 - Special salary rate request and annual review forms (OPM Forms 1397 and 1398).

Attachment 3 - Index of current special rate authorizations by agency.

Attachment 4 - Special rate agency contacts.

Agencies must submit all annual review materials to OPM by October 15, 2004. It is important that you submit your certifications on time so we can compile and review the data and obtain a consensus among affected agencies if there are substantial differences in agency requests. You may obtain electronic copies of all the attachments on OPM's Web site at

OPM Forms 1397 and 1398

We have supplied electronic, fillable forms that agencies may use to request special salary rates and provide annual review certifications. (See Special Salary Rate Request Form (OPM Form 1397) and Work Sheet for Special Salary Rate Annual Review (OPM Form 1398) in Attachment 2.) Additional information on these forms is provided in Attachment 1.

IT Special Rates

In January 2005, we plan to amend the information technology (IT) special rate tables 999A 999F to delete the former GS-334 Computer Specialist series designation. The IT special rate tables will continue to cover the GS 854 Computer Engineer, GS-1550 Computer Scientist, and GS-2210 Information Technology Management occupational series. The job family position classification standard for administrative work in the Information Technology Group, GS 2200, issued in May 2001, canceled the GS-334 Computer Specialist Series. We retained the GS 334 series designation on the IT special rate tables to give agencies more time to implement the new classification standard. By January 2005, agencies should have completed their reclassification actions and classified affected IT positions to the appropriate series. However, if you will be unable to complete reclassifying your GS-334 positions by January 2005, we ask that you let us know by November 5, 2004. Please contact us by email at

We ask agency headquarters to bring any problems encountered in implementing the annual review process to our attention as they arise. You may contact the Pay and Leave Administration Group by telephone at (202) 606-2858, by fax at (202) 606-0824, or by email at

cc: Human Resources Directors


  1. 2004 annual review instructions
  2. Special salary rate request and annual review forms

  3. Index of current special rate authorizations by agency
  4. Special rate agency contacts