While the new federal pay law promises bigger paychecks over the next decade for most white-collar government workers, faster relief is coming for law enforcement personnel. Many of them make less than their local counterparts, and a lot less than most of the people they are paid to catch.

The peace officers' pay law will raise pay about 9 percent for entry-level jobs in Grades 3 through 5 in 1992 and grant additional raises the next year. Grade 6 through 10 law enforcement personnel also will get increases.

Starting in 1992, federal law enforcement personnel in the Washington area are guaranteed a 4 percent pay differential plus the regular pay raise, expected to be about 5 percent, for federal workers.

The 1992 differentials will be even higher in some other areas. Federal law enforcement personnel in the Boston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco areas will get a 16 percent differential. The differential will be 8 percent in San Diego and 4 percent in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Trenton area.

The law enforcement pay plan also allows agencies to pay relocation bonuses of up to $15,000 for workers making less than $60,000 a year. It raises the mandatory retirement age from 55 to 57 (with 20 years' service) and provides a 5 percent bonus to officers who use their foreign language skills on the job. Ombudsmen

Officials who handle citizen complaints about local, state or federal government agencies will take part in discussion at 9 a.m. Dec. 5 at the law offices of Steptoe and Johnson, 1330 Connecticut Ave. NW. For details, call Charles Pou at 202-254-7020.

Personnel Management

The Office of Personnel Management is sponsoring a federal personnel management conference Wednesday and Thursday. OPM Director Constance B. Newman will be the keynote speaker at the first session, which will be held at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington. The second day of the conference will be at OPM's auditorium, 1900 E St. NW.

Clerical Job Fair

The next federal clerical and secretarial job fair will be Jan. 23 and 24 at the Washington Convention Center. At the session, originally scheduled for Nov. 30, federal recruiters will be looking for Grade 2 through 7 clerical prospects. Those hired will be brought in at special (higher) pay rates for their grade level. For details, call the OPM hot line at 202-606-2700, message code 409.

Lump-Sum Payments

A few federal personnel offices say they still haven't received official word about recent changes in lump-sum payment rules. The new law ends the lump-sum option for most workers as of Dec. 1. That means most employees who want the option must retire by Nov. 30. The new law also says that 50/50 payments to retirees will be made 12 months apart. Before that change, some retirees got both payments in one calendar -- and tax -- year.