Civil service employees stationed at foreign posts designated as “combat zones” are currently eligible for certain types of additional pay, usually limited to Foreign Service employees appointed under the Foreign Service Act of 1980. Afghanistan and Iraq, for example, are today considered common combat zones. Application to civil service employees will expire on December 31, 2012, unless extended by statute.
For further information specific to combat zone compensation and benefits, refer to the Treasury Department website, found at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Combat-Zones, or the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) website at http://www.opm.gov/combatzones/.
- Waiver of Premium Pay Cap and Aggregate Pay Limitation: Allows an employee to receive basic pay, premium pay, and other additions to pay, which exceed GS-15, Step 10, but not to exceed the annual compensation of the Vice President ($230,700 for 2012). See 5 U.S.C. 5307, 5547, and Section 1104 of the National Defense Authorization Act of FY2012 (P.L. 112-81).
- Special Death Benefit: Allows an employee’s family to receive a monetary benefit of one year’s salary in the event that the employee dies while in service. This is considered a separate benefit compared to life insurance proceeds available under the Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program. See Section 413 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 3972) and Section 1112 of the National Defense Authorization Act of FY2012 (P.L. 112-81).
- Travel and Related Expenses: Allows for the payment of certain travel expenses while stationed at the foreign post (known as “rest and recuperation” trips) as well as moving expenses to (and between) foreign posts, as well as relocation back to the continental U.S. See Sections 901–906 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 4081-4086) and Section 1112 of the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2012 (P.L. 112-81).