(1) On the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2004, the minimum rate of basic pay of the SES rate range is set at an amount equal to the minimum rate of basic pay under 5 U.S.C. 5376 for senior-level positions (excluding any locality-based comparability payment under 5 U.S.C. 5304). The minimum rate of basic pay for the SES rate range will increase consistent with any increase in the minimum rate of basic pay for senior-level positions under 5 U.S.C. 5376. An SES member may not receive less than the minimum rate of the SES rate range. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the maximum rate of basic pay of the SES rate range is set at the rate for level III of the Executive Schedule. An SES member's rate of basic pay must be set at one of the rates within the SES rate range based on the senior executive's performance and/or contribution to the agency's performance.
(2) The maximum rate of basic pay of the SES rate range is set at the rate for level II of the Executive Schedule for senior executives in an agency who are covered by a performance appraisal system that makes meaningful distinctions based on relative performance, as certified by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), with concurrence by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), under 5 U.S.C. 5307(d) and 5 CFR part 430, subpart D. A senior executive's rate of basic pay may not exceed the maximum rate of the applicable SES rate range, except as provided in § 534.404(h)(2). The applicable maximum rate of basic pay for the SES rate range will increase with any increase in the rate for levels II or III of the Executive Schedule under 5 U.S.C. 5318.
(3) Rates of basic pay higher than the rate for level III of the Executive Schedule but less than or equal to the rate for level II of the Executive Schedule generally are reserved for those senior executives who have demonstrated the highest levels of individual performance and/or made the greatest contributions to the agency's performance, as determined by the agency through the administration of its performance appraisal system for senior executives, or, in the case of newly-appointed senior executives, those who possess superior leadership or other competencies, consistent with the agency's strategic human capital plan.
(b)Suspension of certification of performance appraisal system. A senior executive whose rate of basic pay is higher than the rate for level III of the Executive Schedule may not suffer a reduction in pay because his or her agency's applicable performance appraisal system certification is suspended under 5 CFR 430.405(h). The senior executive will continue to receive his or her current SES rate and is not eligible for a pay adjustment until the senior executive is assigned to a position that would allow the employee to receive a pay adjustment or until certification of the employing agency's applicable performance appraisal system is reinstated under 5 CFR part 430, subpart D. The SES rate of pay is not considered a retained rate of pay for the purpose of applying 5 U.S.C. 3594 and 5 CFR part 359, subpart G, or 5 U.S.C. 5363 and 5 CFR part 536, subpart C.