Less than one percent of the government's 150,000 managers and supervisors will get D's and F's on their report cards -- and peanut-sized pay raises -- this fall if federal agencies follow 1981 grading patterns.

According to the Office of Personnel Management, only .1 percent of Grade 13, 14 and 15 managers/supervisors under the new merit pay system got "unsatisfactory" performance ratings last year. In 1981, according to OPM data, .8 percent of the supervisors and managers (there are 60,000 in this area) got the second-lowest rating of "minimally satisfactory."

Under the merit pay program set up by the Carter administration, and implemented last year, federal supervisors and managers are rewarded differently than rank-and-file workers.

Most white collar civil servants get a flat pay raise (4.8 percent last year, 4 percent this year) each October. In addition, they routinely get longevity pay raises worth 3 percent every one, two or three years.

Federal managers and supervisors do not get longevity pay raises. They are guaranteed only one-half of the regular percentage pay increase their subordinates get each fall.

Merit pay raises are supposed to reflect performance, as measured by officials each September and October.

Last year, because of a dispute over the amount of money for the merit pay pool, OPM directed that all supervisors and managers -- even those with bad marks -- get the full 4.8 percent raise.

From OPM data: those with top-notch evaluations got total increases ranging from 6.4 percent to 7 percent.

This year, agencies will give only one-half of the regular raise -- or 2 percent -- to managers and supervisors who get less-than-satisfactory or unsatisfactory ratings.

OPM expects that merit pay workers who get top ratings will get between 8 percent and 9.8 percent; those with the second-highest performance ratings 6.4 percent to 7.8 percent and those with "satisfactory" ratings between 5 percent and 5.9 percent.

Percentage payments to individuals will vary by agency. Although most use a five-grade system, some have as few as three grade levels, while others have 8 merit rating levels.

Last year, OPM says, about 15 of every 100 managers-supervisors got "outstanding" or equivalent ratings; about 39 percent got "exceeds satisfactory" or equivalent ratings and nearly 40 of every 100 persons got "fully satisfactory" ratings. Approximately 5 percent of managers and supervisors had not been in their jobs long enough to be rated.

Top payments will be lower in agencies that rate nearly everyone satisfactory than in those that give bad grades to more people, thereby leaving more money in the merit pay pool for those with better grades.