What is a special rate?

Special rates are paid for a group or category of General Schedule positions in one or more geographic areas to address existing or likely significant difficulties in recruiting or retaining well-qualified employees. Once established, each special rate is reviewed at least annually and adjustments made as warranted according to existing labor market conditions and agency staffing needs. Agencies may request new special rates to be established.

The minimum rate of a special rate range may exceed the maximum rate of the corresponding grade by as much as 30 percent, up to the rate for Executive Level IV.

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