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8,800 Air Force employees transition out of NSPS

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The first two waves of Air Force employees have successfully converted out of the National Security Personnel System, leaving less than 30,000 to make the transition.

Approximately 8,800 employees were converted out of NSPS during phases I and II on July 4 and July 18. Phases III and IV are scheduled to transition on Aug. 15 and Sept. 12.

NSPS, a human resources pay and performance management system for the civilian work force, intended to replace the long-standing General Schedule system, was repealed in last year's National Defense Authorization Act. The decision affected more than 220,000 civilian employees across the Defense Department.

To help ensure a smooth transition out of NSPS for nearly 38,000 Air Force civilian employees affected by the repeal, Air Force officials rigorously tested the computer program that would automate the conversion process.

Staff members from the Air Force Personnel Operations Agency tested the automated system for three weeks in April, looking for incompatibilities, debugging the system and checking the program's overall functionality.

In May, a team of employees in the Air Force Personnel Center's Directorate of Personnel Data Systems field tested the new program, processing the conversion of 60 NSPS employees assigned to the DOD's Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

"Using the information provided by Wright-Patterson (AFB's) classification office, our team input all the relevant GS conversion data into the employees' current NSPS positions: the new valid grade, the new position description number, the supervisory status, the new position title, and the target grade," said Brenda Nicholson from DPD. "When we processed the mass conversion, all 60 records were successfully converted, with all pay retentions activated and all SF 50s generated."

As Air Force officials continue to gear up for the greatest number of conversions yet, approximately 4,100 in August and close to 25,000 in September, training modules are available to NSPS employees and their managers at or on the official NSPS website.

These modules provide an overview of the pay structure, discuss benefits and entitlements, explain how jobs are classified, outline the more common awards and incentive programs available to GS employees, and provide detailed information about the conversion process, including information on how an employee's pay will be determined.

By law, employees will not lose pay upon conversion. These general guidelines will be followed when determining an employee's pay. If the employee's current pay:

-- Fits within the rate range of the appropriate grade to which the employee is assigned, the employee will be placed at a step that equals or exceeds his existing pay.
-- Is below the rate range for the appropriate GS grade to which the employee is assigned, the employee will be placed on the first step of the GS grade upon conversion out.
-- Is above the rate range for the appropriate GS grade to which the employee is assigned, the employee will be placed on pay retention to ensure he does not suffer any decrease in or loss of pay upon conversion.

For more information, visit AFPC's personnel services website. Air Force employees may call the 24-hour Total Force Service Center at 800-525-0102.