By Reg Jones
Q. In August 2006, I was hired as a marketing/outreach/sponsorship director (nonappropriated funds). My responsibilities grew to include a supervisory role of the graphics department (two employees).
In August 2012, I had the opportunity to apply — and was selected for — public affairs specialist (1035-9). I am now the deputy public affairs officer. I was told that, with an NAF-to-GS transition, my pay would rise only to the next step. My concern is that the human resources office included locality pay as part of the equation in determining my GS pay. I didn’t receive locality pay at NAF and the cost-of-living adjustment was frozen. My annual pay at NAF was $53,000. My basic pay now is $44,333 but adding $9,217 in locality boosts the total to $53,550.
When I questioned the HR person, she said that was the way the rules were set up. Yet, the job announcement listed the salary for position at $50,000 to $65,000. This still doesn’t make sense to me. Can you help me understand the effect of locality pay on determining salary for NAF who transition to GS?
Q. Public Law 111-84 provided for a phased-in conversion from nonforeign area cost-of-living allowances to locality pay over a three-year period beginning in 2010. Since the three year phase-in period has been extended (no change in COLA in 2013 or increase to locality rate as anticipated), doesn’t that change the rules for the buyback period, too? Shouldn’t we be allowed to buy back up to the time the final/full locality rate is actually achieved? Do you feel this is something worth pursuing?
Q. If I am a GS-12, Step 3 with the locality of rest of the U.S. and move to Houston, would I get pay at the Houston locality as a GS-12, Step 3?
Q. For FERS retirement purposes, what pay is used for 78 pay periods of high-3 average basic pay calculations: basic pay or adjusted basic pay with locality adjustments?
Q. I will be eligible to retire Aug. 3, 2016 (55 years old, 37 years of service – CSRS). I work in D.C., and the cost of living is added to my salary. Do I use this figure or the figure before the cost-of-living allowance to calculate my high-3 salary?
Q. Since my high-3 occurred in San Antonio between 2005 and 2009, will my locality pay associated with that period be incorporated into my retirement pay if I elected to retire immediately after returning to the U.S., or will I have to take an assignment in the U.S. and remain on station for a year to receive the locality pay of that region?
Q. If the locality pay changes after I start receiving retirement pay, will my retirement amount change by the same percentage, or does it have no impact?
Q. Checking to see if you have any information when the cost-of-living adjustment for Hawaii will be completely converted to locality pay.
Q. I am 43 and recently was retired on FERS disability from federal service due to multiple sclerosis. I know that a person can’t make over 80 percent of their base pay and not have their retirement suspended.
I have three questions:
1. When they say base pay, is that just the general base pay for everyone, or does that include the locality pay? I’m in San Francisco.
2. If I’m able to be re-employed (nonfederal) and exceed the 80 percent threshold from this point forward, will I be able to get my federal retirement at age 62?
3. If I make over the 80 percent for a limited time, will I be able to be reinstated after my wages fall below the 80 percent?