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Continuation of National Emergency in Iraq

Monday, July 27, 2015
CPM 2015-06
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
Continuation of National Emergency in Iraq

On May 19, 2015, President Obama issued a notice to continue for 1 year the declared national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq.  (See the President’s notice at  As a result of this notice, agency heads may continue to apply—through the end of 2015—a special premium pay cap waiver authority for eligible civilian employees working in Iraq based upon the national emergency.  The United States currently has a contingency operation in Iraq (Operation Inherent Resolve), so the higher premium pay cap may be applied to eligible employees working in Iraq in support of that operation on that basis as well.

On March 26, 2015, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a memorandum providing guidance on the authority extended by section 1101 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (Public Law 113-291, December 19, 2014) for the head of an agency to waive, during calendar year 2015, the premium pay cap under 5 U.S.C. 5547 for civilian employees working in certain overseas locations.  (See CPM 2015-02–Pay-Related Legislative Changes in the National Defense Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2015.) 

As a result of the President’s notice continuing the declared national emergency in Iraq, we have updated our guidance on the premium pay cap waiver authority in the attachment.  This revised guidance applies to civilian employees working in qualifying overseas locations, including Iraq.  While the national emergency in Iraq is extended through May 22, 2016, the premium pay cap waiver authority under section 1101 of Public Law 113-291 expires on Thursday, December 31, 2015.  Therefore, agencies may continue to apply the waiver authority to eligible employees through December 31, 2015.  The guidance in the attachment to this memorandum supersedes the guidance we issued on March 26, 2015.  

Additional Information

Agency headquarters-level human resources offices may contact Pay and Leave at OPM at  Employees should contact their agency human resources or payroll office for further information on this memo.

cc:  Chief Human Capital Officers

       Human Resources Directors