President Obama’s two-year pay freeze for federal employees, now law, applies not just to those on the General Schedule (GS) pay scale, but following his signature last week of an executive order, also to federal agency employees whose pay is set under the Administratively Determined (AD) pay scale, which is not legislated by Congress but instead ruled by those agencies to which it applies. Among those agencies is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
According to the Washington Post, AD government employees make up about 30% of the two million people who are federal employees. They are also among some of the more highly paid positions; the AD pay scale allows more leeway in setting salaries as a way for the federal government to compete with the private sector. In addition to the SEC’s staff, other staffers included in this group are public health doctors and nurses, medical personnel in the Veterans Affairs system, administrative law judges and attorneys and auditors.
Another more highly paid group subject to the freeze is the Senior Executive Service (SES); its small number of members are managers who exceed the top of the GS scale, and their pay is usually performance based.
Active-duty military personnel are exempt from the freeze.