Negotiating payscale


Q. I am active Army with a terminal leave date of July 1. I am considering a GS-13 position with a start date of July 1 (I plan to work during terminal leave), but I have to negotiate a step increase. However, I’m being told I can’t use my leave and earnings statement as justification for my current pay. Is that the case? If so, why?

A. Your leave and earnings statement is simply a one-month snapshot. In addition, it may be difficult for the folks you are negotiating with to separate the income that represents your job-based earnings from any allowances and differentials that don’t. You’ll need to ask them what they really need to have and then educate them.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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