5 CFR 534.405 - Performance awards.

§ 534.405 Performance awards.

(a) This section covers the payment of performance awards to career appointees in the Senior Executive Service (SES).

(1) To be eligible for an award, the individual must have been an SES career appointee as of the end of the performance appraisal period; and the individual's most recent performance rating of record under part 430, subpart C, of this chapter for the appraisal period must have been “Fully Successful” or higher.

(2) Individuals eligible for a performance award include:

(i) A former SES career appointee who elected to retain award eligibility under 5 CFR part 317, subpart H. If the rate of basic pay of the individual is higher than the maximum rate of basic pay for the applicable SES rate range, the maximum rate of that SES rate range is used for crediting the agency award pool under paragraph (b) of this section and the amount the individual may receive under paragraph (c) of this section.

(ii) A reemployed annuitant with an SES career appointment.

(iii) An SES career appointee who is on detail. If the detail is to another agency, eligibility is in the individual's official employing agency, i.e., the agency from which detailed. If the appointee is on a reimbursable detail, the agency to which the appointee is detailed may reimburse the employing agency for some or all of any award, as agreed upon by the two agencies; but the reimbursement does not affect the award pool for either agency as calculated under paragraph (b) or this section.

(3) When making recommendations on performance awards, more than one-half of the membership of a Performance Review Board must be career SES appointees. The only exception is if OPM has determined under § 430.307(d) of this chapter that the Board does not have to have a majority of career members when making recommendations on performance appraisals of career appointees because there exists an insufficient number of career appointees.

(4) The agency head must consider the recommendations of the Performance Review Board (PRB), but the agency head has the final authority as to who is to receive a performance award and the amount of the award.


(1) The total amount of performance awards paid during a fiscal year by an agency may not exceed the greater of -

(i) Ten percent of the aggregate career SES rates of basic pay for the agency as of the end of the fiscal year prior to the fiscal year in which the award payments are made; or

(ii) Twenty percent of the average annual rates of basic pay for career SES appointees of the agency as of the end of the fiscal year prior to the fiscal year in which the award payments are made.

(2) In determining the aggregate career SES rates of basic pay and the average annual rate of basic pay as of the end of FY 2003 for the purpose of applying paragraph (b) of this section, agencies must use the annual rate of basic pay, plus any applicable locality-based comparability payment under 5 U.S.C. 5304 or special geographic pay adjustment established for law enforcement officers under section 404(a) of the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990 ( Pub. L. 101-509), which the SES appointees were receiving at the end of FY 2003.

(c) The amount of a performance award paid to an individual career appointee may not be less than 5 percent nor more than 20 percent of the appointee's SES rate of basic pay as of the end of the performance appraisal period.

(d) OPM shall issue guidance concerning the distribution of performance awards within an agency.

(e) Agencies shall submit their distribution of performance awards, the total amount of awards, and the aggregate payroll or average rate of basic pay as computed under paragraph (b) of this section to OPM no later than 14 days after the date the performance awards are approved by the agency. If OPM determines that an agency's payments do not meet the requirements of law or regulations, the agency shall take any corrective action directed by OPM.

(f) Performance awards must be paid in a lump sum except in those instances when it is not possible to pay the full amount because of the applicable aggregate limitation on pay during a calendar year under 5 CFR part 530, subpart B. In that case, any amount in excess of the applicable aggregate limitation must be paid at the beginning of the following calendar year in accordance with 5 CFR part 530, subpart B. The full performance award, however, is charged against the agency bonus pool under § 534.405(b) for the fiscal year in which the initial payment was made.

[ 52 FR 2, Jan. 2, 1987, as amended at 55 FR 1353, Jan. 16, 1990; 57 FR 10125, Mar. 24, 1992; 60 FR 6389, Feb. 2, 1995; 64 FR 72889, Dec. 29, 1999; 69 FR 2051, Jan. 13, 2004. Redesignated and amended at 69 FR 70362, 70366, Dec. 6, 2004]
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