The Distinguished Executive rank is awarded to 1 percent of SES members. Winners receive a lump-sum of 35 percent of their annual basic pay.
The Meritorious Executive rank is awarded to 5 percent of SES members. Winners receive a lump-sum of 20 percent of their annual basic pay.
Agencies can nominate up to 9 percent of their Senior Executive Service members. But an OPM memo says agencies should “consider the current austere fiscal climate” and adjust the number of nominations with the expectation that the number of winners this year will be “significantly reduced.”
President Obama will make the final decision to approve award winners after a review by private citizens, led by OPM.