Most members of the Senior Executive Service will get pay raises effective Jan. 1 that will bring top pay up to $58,500. The pay ceiling for workers in GS (General Schedule) grades will move up to $57,500. That is official!

After consultation with Justice Department lawyers and Office of Management and Budget brass, President Reagan has decided to give SES -- now frozen at $50,112.50 -- the full amount of the pay raise Congress approved last week as part of the continuing resolution. The $50,112.50 cap that also applied to thousands of senior bureaucrats outside the SES will be lifted to $57,500.

Some officials tried to get Reagan to give smaller increases to the U.S. executives, many of whom have not had any kind of pay adjustment in three years. They had proposed that most members of the elite SES, composed of nearly 6,500 top career and political officials, be given scaled-down raises that would bring their salaries up to between $56,585 and $57,500. But Reagan -- who favored federal executive raises -- was persuaded that it was the legal intent of Congress to raise SES pay to $58,500, providing a differential between SES and regular civil service salaries.

Here are the new actual rates for SES personnel effective Jan. 1:

The 603 people in Level 1 will go to $54,755. SES Level 2's 523 executives go up to $56,936. The majority of SES personnel, in Levels 3 through 6 will all move up to the new $58,500 ceiling in January.

Federal workers in Grade 15, step 4 will move up to $51,353 and the top of the grade goes to $57,500. Grade 16 will have a starting salary of $54,755 and top out at $57,500. Everybody in Grades 17 and 18 will move to $57,500.

The Senior Executives Association -- a powerful new lobby -- did a lot of the spadework that resulted in the executive raises. They have promised to help House members (who wanted but did not get a raise this year) build support for a congressional raise sometime in 1983. Washington area legislators who represent most of the SES members in government, showed unusual togetherness and clout in getting the raises through Congress.