Transitioning out of NSPS
NSPS was implemented by the various branches of the service according to their own interpretations. Likewise, transitioning out procedures vary depending on the Branch for which you work. Please consult with your own branch guidelines. DOD has approved the plans presented to them by the DON as well as other services.
An NSPS Transition page on the web http://www.cpms.osd.mil/nsps/transition/ provides updates to transition documents as well as tools that could help you understand more about how you will transition out. Many NSPS employees will convert back into the GS pay system. On this page, you will find a CBT called GS 1 01 which is a very basic overview of how the GS system works. If you aren’t familiar with the GS system, this is a good place to start.
You will also find a tool called an “NSPS Transition Simulator”. To use this tool, you must know your current pay schedule and pay band, e.g. YA 02, your base pay, i.e., your pay before locality pay is applied, and your GS Grade that you will be converting to when you transition out of NSPS. The simulator will tell you what your new step and base salary are based on the information that you provided them. If your pay exceeds the highest step, it will also tell you that you will be placed on pay retention. Please note that the results of the NSPS Transition Simulator are not intended to be an official proclamation. Each employee will receive an official letter explaining the details of their own particular situation.
DOD is operating on the principle that NO ONE will lose pay when they transition out of NSPS BUT you also won’t be placed in the next higher grade just because your pay exceeds the grade to which you are set to return to upon transitioning out. If that happens, you are likely to be placed on Pay Retention. This means that, though your pay will not be reduced to the step 10 of your grade at the time that you transition out, when the Government-Wide Pay Increase (GPI) kicks in each January, you will only get 50% of that until your pay and the step 10 catch up to each other.
Some individuals may need to have their position reviewed to determine if their grade has changed since they converted into NSPS. Potentially, if an employee’s duties and responsibilities have changed, that person could be placed in a higher grade or even a lower grade. Other folks who were hired directly under NSPS may have a PD that was never classified in the GS system. Before they can convert out, the work of classifying their PD will have to take place. The folks in Human Resources have their work cut out for them.
Some employees do not occupy positions that fall in the GS system. Neither the transition simulator nor GS 101 will be useful to these folks.
So how is it determined who will transition out when? In the Dept. of the Navy, all employees transitioning back to the GS system will transition out this year, i.e. 2010. All others, mostly medical and dental professionals, will transition out next year in 2011. A schedule of proposed transition dates has been released.
It is also important to note that though we are moving out of NSPS, DOD intends us to remain in some kind of pay for performance system. The initial system that we transition to is being considered an interim pay for performance system to be used until DOD comes up with their final plan.
To keep up to date with the latest guidance available, visit the above mentioned NSPS webpage. Once there, click on “Related Links” where you will find links to the webpage for your own branch of the service.
Respectfully submitted, Lucille M. Rosa, Naval War College NSPS Transition Team Member.