This section applies to—
positions that are classified above GS–15 pursuant to section 5108; and
scientific or professional positions established under section 3104;
any Senior Executive Service position under section 3132; or
any position in the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration Senior Executive Service under section 3151.
Subject to such regulations as the Office of Personnel Management prescribes, the head of the agency concerned shall fix the rate of basic pay for any position within such agency to which this section applies. A rate fixed under this section shall be—
not less than 120 percent of the minimum rate of basic pay payable for GS–15 of the General Schedule; and
subject to paragraph (3), not greater than the rate of basic pay payable for level III of the Executive Schedule.
The payment of a rate of basic pay under this section shall not be subject to the pay limitation of section 5306(e) or 5373.
Subject to paragraph (1), effective at the beginning of the first applicable pay period commencing on or after the first day of the month in which an adjustment takes effect under section 5303 in the rates of pay under the General Schedule, each rate of pay established under this section for positions within an agency shall be adjusted by such amount as the head of such agency considers appropriate.
In the case of an agency which has a performance appraisal system which, as designed and applied, is certified under section 5307(d) as making meaningful distinctions based on relative performance, paragraph (1)(B) shall apply as if the reference to “level III” were a reference to “level II”.
No employee may suffer a reduction in pay by reason of transfer from an agency with an applicable maximum rate of pay prescribed under paragraph (3) to an agency with an applicable maximum rate of pay prescribed under paragraph (1)(B).
[Pub. L. 101–509, title V, § 529 [title I, § 102(a)(1)]], Nov. 5, 1990, [104 Stat. 1427], 1443; amended [Pub. L. 110–372, § 2(b)], Oct. 8, 2008, [122 Stat. 4044].)