OPM has told agencies to review “special rate” pay, a routine annual process in which agencies recommend whether to continue that higher pay for recruitment and retention purposes in certain occupations and locations–and if so, whether the differential should be raised. If an agency doesn’t recommend changing or ending a special rate schedule—the most common outcome of these reviews—the differential continues unchanged and those employees will receive the GS across the board pay raise component in January. About 40,000 employees get special rate pay, which ranges from several percent above the base GS rate for the grade and step of a position to much more. Agencies are to report by October 14 if they want a special rate increase different from the general raise—or if, less likely, they want to reduce or end a special rate schedule.