SEA decries DoD plan to reduce SES bonuses

The Senior Executives Association sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Dec. 5 criticizing recently released guidance that reduced pay pool amounts ...

In a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the Senior Executive Association (SEA) criticized the Defense Department’s plans to drastically reduce pay pool amounts covering performance awards for the past fiscal year.

Members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and Senior Professional (Scientific and Technical, and Senior Level) are eligible for the performance awards.

DoD recently released agencywide guidance that cut pay pool amounts from the current maximum of 5 percent of the aggregate of a career employee’s salary to a new maximum of 1 percent.

This is at odds with governmentwide guidance released on Nov. 1 by the director of the Office of Management and Budget and the acting director of the Office of Personnel Management that called on agency heads to keep pay pool funding limits the same as fiscal 2012 — 5 percent.

SEA President Carol Bonosaro said DoD’s new guidance was “penny-wise and pound foolish at best” and called on Secretary Hagel to restore full funding for the awards.

“Career SES and SP executives do not enjoy the same type of employment security and longevity-based pay raises granted to employees in the GS schedule — making their performance awards programs all the more important in ensuring fair compensation for the extra risk and difficulty involved in highly demanding jobs,” she said in a statement

Bonosaro added the proposed policy change could lead to an increase in retirement, resignation and transfer from DoD, resulting in a loss of senior management experience.


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