Flexible Pay for Exceptional Performance

Flexible Pay shall be awarded for extra-meritorious performance that may include rewarding a variety of outcomes and behaviors e.g., project completion, sustained high level performance and revenue generation, etc. There are two types of Flexible Pay: (1) Exceptional Performance Awards, and (2) SPOT Performance Awards. Flexible Pay should not be used as a substitute for providing ongoing base adjustments that assure equitable and competitive salaries.

The general requirements for Flexible Pay are:

  • All regular, Professional and Scientific and SEIU employees are eligible for an exceptional performance award.
  • All regular, Professional Scientific, SEIU and Merit employees are eligible for a SPOT Award.
  • Flexible Pay may be awarded at any time during the year.  
  • All Flexible Pay awards must be approved at the Organizational level. If an award is to be paid in any part by 500 or 510 funds, UI Compensation and Classification will route the transaction to Grant Accounting so they may review the payment request at the time an award is submitted for final approval.
  • Flexible Pay will be awarded in the form of a lump sum payment that is not added to the base salary.
  • Colleges and Divisions are required to develop Flexible Pay Guidelines with approval by UI Compensation and Classification. Guidelines must reflect the components of the University's Flexible Pay Policy as described herein and may adopt more stringent guidelines.
  • To operationalize a Flexible Pay program, Colleges and Divisions will be required to develop Flexible Pay Guidelines which must be reviewed and approved by UI Compensation and Classification. The guidelines must reflect the components of the University's Flexible Pay Policy as described herein, but may adopt more stringent guidelines.
  • No Flexible Pay awards will be approved unless guidelines have been developed and approved by UI Compensation and Classification. A copy of the guidelines will be kept on file in University Human Resources.
  • Departments will be responsible for funding Flexible Pay awards.

For different incentive purposes, departments may grant different types of Flexible Pay.  Here are the different requirements for Exceptional Performance Award and SPOT Performance Award:

  Exceptional Performance Award SPOT Performance Award
Eligibility P&S and SEIU staff who have been employed at the University of Iowa in a regular position for six months. Merit staff are also eligible for Exceptional Performance Awards, and details on limits can be found on the Merit Exceptional Performance Award website P&S, SEIU and Merit regular staff with no minimum employment period required.
Performance Expectations Must have Exceeds Expectations or Outstanding performance evaluation (within past 12 months) on file. Exceeds Expectations or Outstanding performance evaluation is not required. 
Payment Amount

May receive up to 10% of their salary for Exceptional Performance Awards per fiscal year.

The normal gross amount for a SPOT Award cannot total more than $233.11 (net $150.00).  For the period of 9/1/2020 through 6/30/2021, the gross amount cannot total more than $466.24 (net $300.00).  In the HR Transaction System, enter the desired net amount and the gross amount will be automatically calculated.
Request Frequency An employee may receive a maximum of two Exceptional Performance Awards per fiscal year but the total must not exceed 10% of their base salary.  No more than 10% of a College or Division's Professional and Scientific and SEIU staff are eligible to receive an Exceptional Performance Award in a given fiscal year. An employee may receive no more than eight SPOT Performance Awards in fiscal year 2021.  This change has been approved to be in place for all of FY 2021 regardless of the amount of the awards.

Flexible Pay Program Guidelines for P&S and SEIU Employees

Contact Information

Compensation and Classification

Campus Address
121-11 USB
Mailing Address

121 University Services Building, Suite 11
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
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