2017 Pay Raise Approved for Federal Employees on GS Pay Scale

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[2017 Confirmed GS Pay Raise] The president has excised his executive power and given government employees on the GS pay scale and armed service members one of the largest raises in recent times. Civilian employees will receive a combined 1.6 percent raise (vs 1.3 percent last year) per the earlier update, which is made up of an across-the-board increase of 1 percent to the federal GS pay scalewith an additional 0.6 percent adjustment to locality pay. Uniformed service members will also receive a monthly basic pay increase of 1.6 percent. Adjustments will take place January 1st, 2017.

“I have determined that for 2017, across-the-board pay increases will be 1.0 percent,” Obama wrote in an Aug. 31 letter to congressional leaders. “Also, I will make a decision by November 30, 2016, regarding an alternative plan for locality payments under 5 U.S.C. 5304a. The alternative plan for locality payments will be limited so that the total combined cost of the 1.0 percent across-the-board base pay increase and the varying locality pay increases will be 1.6 percent of basic payroll, consistent with the assumption in my 2017 budget. These decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well-qualified federal workforce.”

The table below shows the 2017 GS Pay Table/Chart that reflects the 1% federal/national raise. The 0.6% locality pay adjustment will vary by state and I recommend you review the OPM charts for specific details.

2017 General Schedule (GS) Base Rates ($) by Grade and Step

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[2017 GS Pay Raise Update] Despite a low inflation environment it looks like the President may leave a nice farewell gift for Federal employees on the GS pay scale via a 1.6% pay raise in 2017. There are still many hoops to jump through to get this raise approved, with any proposed raises to go via various sub-committees, House of Representatives, Senate and President. And like last year even if the House rejects a pay rise the President can sign an executive order overriding this.

It is likely the 1.6% pay raise will be made up of an across the board GS Federal pay raise and locality pay adjustments. This will be clarified as details are fleshed out.

Here is the latest status of where the various key groups stand on the 2017 GS pay raise:

President (Executive) – Recommended a 1.6% pay increase for 2017. This will be formalized in late August based on Senate and House deliberations

House of Representatives – Passed the 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act (H.R. 5485). This bill did not rule out a pay raise (as done in the past) which means unless specific legislation is written the President’s recommendation for a pay raise of 1.6% for the federal workforce will likely become effective in January.

Senate – Legislation (S. 2699) sponsored by Democratic senator Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) proposes a whopping 5.3% raise next year. This is made up of a 3.9% federal pay boost, plus a 1.4% bump in locality pay for 2017. The figure is more than three times President Obama’s proposed 1.6 percent pay raise for federal workers in 2017.This raise is highly unlikely to pass.

I will publish a 2017 pay raise chart in the next month or two and encourage you to subscribe (free) via RSS or Email via email to get the latest updates.

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[Updated for 2016 GS Pay Raise] In 2016, employees paid under the General Schedule (GS) system will get another 1% pay raise following the executive order signed into law by President Obama. This is the third consecutive year that GS eligible federal employees have received a 1% pay increase. The 2016 GS Pay table is show below and takes effect from January 1st.  You can see the prior annual updates to this article for past year GS tables.

While the 2016 GS pay chart figures do not include adjustments for locality pay; the average increase for federal employees works out to 1.3% after adjusting for the locality pay increase.

2016 GS Pay Chart With 1% Increase over 2015 levels

(Per the President) I have determined that it is appropriate to exercise my statutory alternative plan authority under 5 U.S.C. 5303(b) and 5304a to set alternative January 2016 across-the-board and locality pay adjustments. Specifically, I have determined that for 2016, across-the-board pay increases will be 1.0 percent. The alternative plan for locality payments will be limited so that the total combined cost of the 1.0 percent across-the-board base pay increase and the varying locality pay increases will be 1.3 percent of basic payroll, consistent with the assumption in my 2016 Budget. These decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well-qualified Federal workforce.

The adjustments described above shall take effect on the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2016.

 See this article for a full listing of 2016 locality pay increases.

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[Updated for 2015 GS Pay Raise] In 2015, employees paid under the General Schedule (GS) system will get another 1% pay raise following the executive order signed into law by President Obama and latest data from the US Office of Personnel Management. This is the second consecutive year that GS eligible federal employees have received a 1% pay increase, after three years of pay freezes. The 2015 GS Pay table is show below and takes effect from January 1st.  You can see the prior annual updates to this article for past year GS tables.

2015 GS Pay Table

Other notable changes:

– Foreign Service and Veteran Health administration Schedules also increased by 1%, as did the the minimum salary for members of the Senior Executive Service (SES)

– Members of Congress, including the Vice President covered covered by the executive schedule will not get a raise this year

– Military staff will also receive a 1 percent pay raise as outlined in this article

2015 locality pay percentages will remain at 2014 levels

–  Pay schedules will become effective the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after the first of the year (January 11, 2015, based on the standard 2015 payroll cycle).

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[Updated for 2014 GS Pay Raise] Following the budget deal, President Obama issued an executive order approving a 1% pay increase in 2014 for federal employees who are paid under the General Schedule (GS) system. This is the first increase in three years. After years of congressional wrangling the increase was been endorsed for 2014. The updated 2014 GS Pay table is shown below and takes effect from January 1st. Locality pay will remain at 2013 levels.

2014 GS Pay Scale

The following official statement was released on the 2014 pay raise:

“This modest adjustment reflects the tight budget constraints we now face, while also recognizing the critical role these civilian employees play in our country – doing everything from assuring the safety of our food and airways, to securing our borders, to providing health care to veterans, to searching for cures to diseases. It also recognizes the sacrifices they have already made through pay freezes, reductions in benefits, and furloughs due to sequestration this year.”

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[Updated – No 2013 GS pay rise] Well it looks the 2013 GS pay raise debate has finally been resolved with the President signing a new/updated executive order that continued the freeze on GS pay scales for federal civilian employees. This was after a 0.5% raise was initially approved, that has now been superseded with the latest executive order.

The latest executive order (issued March 26, 2013) also stated that any increase in pay schedules should not be made until after December 31, 2013. Which means that federal employees can expect no potential pay raises this year unless they get a promotion or within grade step increase.

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[Updated Jan 2013] President Obama issue an executive order providing a 0.5% pay raise for employees on the Federal GS pay scale. The pay raise will take effect on March 27, 2013 when the latest budget freeze is lifted.

But the pay raise may still be blocked by Congress who passed a bill in the Republican controlled House (sponsored by Republican legislators Michael G. Fitzpatrick and Darrell Issa) that seeks to continue the GS pay freeze for over 2 million federal employees through the end of fiscal 2013. Their argument is based on the fact federal employees have continued to receive promotions and within-grade pay increases over the past few years of the supposed ‘pay freeze,’ and voluntary separations from the federal government are near all-time low.

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[Updated Nov 2012] President Obama has gone along with Congress and signed a six-month government spending measure (continuing resolution), that means an extended pay freeze for federal employees and members of Congress; who will not see a pay rise or salary bump until April 2013 at the earliest. Per the earlier update below, President Obama had recommended a 0.5% pay raise for federal workers in 2013, conditional on Congress passing a budget. This did not happen amidst a deeply divided and partisan Congress and so the continuing resolution, to prevent a government shutdown, was enacted to fund services at current levels – which meant the multi-year GS pay freeze being extended. Individual employees on the GS scale still remain eligible for raises if they receive promotions, step increases or performance awards.

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[Updated July 2013] In contrast to President Obama’s budget which included a 0.5% Federal employee (GS) pay raise in 2013, Congress has elected to exclude any federal pay raise provisions for next year from its annual government appropriation bills. The GS pay scale covers all federal workers, including civilian Defense Department employees, but does not apply to military personnel, government contractors, postal workers, members of Congress, Congressional staffers, or federal court judges and workers.

The House Appropriations Committee, responsible for drafting the house federal budget proposal, advanced legislation via the Financial Services and General Government spending bill  that does not contain a pay raise for federal workers in 2013. The Senate’s version of the annual appropriations legislation also omitted provisions for federal pay raises in 2013.

Following two years of pay freezes, many federal and state employees on the GS pay scale will be bitterly disappointed with another year of pay constraints. However critics of further government spending have said extending the current pay freeze is the most prudent course of action, as the government tackles mounting debt, a presidential election and a tough economy.

“For a bill that is largely comprised of salaries and expenses for numerous federal agencies, this allocation, if enacted into law, would result in a substantial reduction in services to the public, severely hinder many very basic functions of government and cause furloughs, layoffs and vacancies at a time when employment remains the nation’s top concern,” said committee ranking member Rep. Norman Dicks (D-Wash.).

“We get these false statements that federal employees are making more money than the private sector…..I don’t know what federal employees they’re talking about. I know the ones in my office aren’t.”said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member on the Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

A 2013 Pay Raise Still Possible

Despite the lack of provisions for a 2013 GS pay raise in both the House and Senate bills, federal workers may still get a pay hike in 2013. The president has the authority to determine a raise based on the Employment Cost Index if Congress fails to explicitly block a pay raise. Further a pay raise can also be proposed in other bills, which are funded differently. No such bills are currently active in Congress, but could be proposed before the final raise (or lack thereof) is set in stone at the end of September 2012.

If GS levels remain unchanged, then the only way for a 2013 pay rise is a step increase or promotion to a higher GS grade level.

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37 Comments on "2017 Pay Raise Approved for Federal Employees on GS Pay Scale"


Saturday 3:56 pm

The average federal worker is already paid more than $100,000 a year in total compensation, but the budget deal failed to block Obama from giving them a 1.3% raise — though many, if not most, taxpayers received zilch raise this year.

michelle G
Wednesday 6:25 pm

The average federal worker is making 20 an hour at 15 years in. Take home is approximately 24,000 a year. And cost of living averages 1300 for a studio in California. Times are tough, most of us have to share apartments, do not qualify for public assistance and must acquire evening jobs. Pretty soon California’s minimum wage will be to my equivalent to my federal pay.

aza
Sunday 12:35 pm

This may be true, but you’re comparing apples to oranges. In the federal hospital I work at, the average salary (including benefits) is pretty high, but it’s a hospital. The median employee is a nurse (and the general consensus among all Americans is that nurses work hard for their money), and the doctors and surgeons dramatically skew the average wage upward. Perhaps you would fix this problem by paying a surgeon 50,000 a year? The average government employee is always going to make more than the average civilian employee because of the nature of the job. The government does not employ fast food workers and retail specialists. If you want to make a case for something being unfair, you have to compare apples to apples. As Tom Cruise pointed out, figures don’t lie, but liars sure do figure!

Irritated
Wednesday 7:35 am

Who ARE you??? I made in the low $30K’s last year, but I CLEARED $19K after taxes and minimum (attempts) to contribute to my 401K. Everyone in my entire building except for 6 supervisors are in the same boat, and there are 62 of us. Please get your information straight. Just because you’re a “government worker” doesn’t mean you’re “balling”. I work hard for my peanuts, and so do the rest of my teammates. I can’t afford to buy a house on this pay, but it got me a foot in the door to hopefully move up with time and experience.

Bob
Sunday 11:31 am

He said total compensation, not salary. Make it 20 years and you get a pension worth at least a million dollars.

Bill
Thursday 4:18 pm
Sir, I am not sure which pension you are referring to – military? That’s the only one I am aware of that offers immediate benefits after 20 years. That being said – being on active duty is no easy job. I did it – and there is no way a $1M pension would have been worth me giving 20 years. As a Fed – I think you are mistaken on your $1M number. Under FERS – you get 1% x years of service x high 3 average. The payments kick in at 62 – so for example – if you earned $100K average your final 3 years times 40 years of service (started at 22) – your annual payment would be 40 x .01 x 100 = 40,000. Assuming you are fortunate to live to 82 – you would have received 20 x $40K = $800k. I do not find… Read more »
anderson.bennett
Monday 4:34 pm

So I did a little math on the 2014 pay tables for Los Angeles-based general schedule feds. The numbers in the 2015 table are not the product of multiplying the numbers in the 2014 pay table by 1.01 (a 1% increase) . I have tried to do this math several different ways and I can’t come up with the numbers that are close with the numbers in the pay table. Anybody know how they calculate a 1% raises.

[…] 1, 2015. This is in line with the one percent raise last year (see previous update below) and 2015 GS pay raise for federal employees. The tables below show the final 2015 basic pay tables based on pay grade and […]

[…] for furloughed federal workers. It also provides fora 1 percent raise for federal employees on the GS Pay Scale in the new year. Contractors to the federal government are not covered by this […]

DICK HILL
Wednesday 5:01 pm

Ms. Levine and Marcus Phillips (you are both wrong). I know for a fact that at least 70% of federal employees are over paid for what most of them accomplish daily. I spent 16 years busting my butt while watching a hell of a lot of others sit back, tell jokes, get fat and draw a FAT FAT FAT paycheck. In addition, the active duty military pay is about 160% today more then it was 25 years ago. I think both could take a 20% pay cut and still make out like a bandit.

M.P.
Monday 11:24 pm

Dear Sir or Madam,
The average federal worker (i.e. ME ) doesn’t make anywhere near $100,000, not even $50,000. And I pay taxes too, we don’t get a tax break either. Where are you pulling these numbers from?

aza
Sunday 12:39 pm

You don’t consider the TSP a tax break?

Dee
Thursday 1:26 pm

Ignorance is Bliss Kramer and Levine., you ought to read more, and stop hating! jealous losers!

Mike
Wednesday 8:27 am
Amazing how you can just pull numbers out of the air… I put myself through college. Got my degree. Worked in industry. Then came 9/11. I was in the National Guard. One of our units had a need for someone with my background and education to fill a civilian position. I applied and was hired. I took a pay cut – still make less than if I had stayed and it’s more than a decade later. I contribute to my retirement – both to a “401 K” AND by paying Social Security and Medicare taxes – all of which goes to others. I pay out of pocket for health insurance. Fortunately, it’s just for me – my wife’s company insures her and our children for 1/2 what it would cost for me to insure the whole family. I am at work by 7:00 a.m. daily and, if I am REALLY… Read more »
Wiseguy90!
Thursday 4:43 am

I (with considerably less verbage) second that statement. I’ve been employeed with the VA for almost 10 yrs. I took over a $10,000 hit when I did, but with the health insur. It’s probably a wash. It’s true with all the added responsibilities, some govt.employees are doing the work of 2-3
Jobs. Certainly not all Govt employees do the jobs of 2-3 people, there is fat , but I think much less than decades previous. All I can speak to is the field I’m experienced in (25+yrs) ,The medical field is seeing huge increases (patients) due to $$$ health costs in civilian sectors so more and more veterans turn to VA for care, so with many vacancies unfilled, and no COLA increases, no pay raises etc… And congress is exempt, no pay freeze there….it doesn’t compute.

[…] Locality Pay Rates Update] The president has signed an executive order that provides a 0.5% GS Pay raise in 2013 (effective from April 2013). Unfortunately the executive order and existing continuing resolution […]

Gilbert
Thursday 2:32 pm

I need to need if the Locality Adjustment will go up or stay the same.?

Thursday 3:19 pm

At this stage it looks like they will the same. You can see this article – http://www.savingtoinvest.com/2011/01/2011-locality-pay-rates-general-schedule-gs-pay-table-adjustments.html – for news on 2013 locality pay changes.

Wednesday 9:29 pm
Federal workers are paid twice the private employees, receive three times the benefits, Dental, Optical. The retire in their 50’s, work 9:00 to 3:30, receive step-increases yearly, average salary over $90,000. Federal workers owe $billions to IRS because they will not pay payroll taxes. Federal workers received $450 million in bonuses last year – hundreds of them for over $40,000. Federal workers are lazy and immoral stealing from a real retirement Trust – Social Security – to pay for millionaire Congressmen. Average Congressman has $ 3 l/2 million net worth but continues to rob the Pension trust of middle-class (average disposable income $33,000) to wallow in filth with his Federal brethrens who contribute virtually nothing.. Average Social Security recipient receives $1,000 month and received filthy l.7% cola which is applicable only to people with “earned benefits”. Means test glutton Congress and term limits, Federal employees should also be means tested… Read more »
FederalEmployee
Tuesday 7:07 am

Madeleine,
You are out of your mind and are blind by your own thoughts. I am a federal employee a GS-09 and on paper it says I make $54,000 what do I see under $30,000. We government employees are destroyed with Payroll Tax to be exact I am taxed nearly 19% per pay check which equals roughly 38% per month. Amongst other things that we are hit with is high medical deductions and other allotments which are required to come out each pay period. To think that we are all lazy and sit around all day collecting a paycheck is absurd. Educationally I have 2 Bachelors Degrees and an MBA. A lot of my friends are GS-12’s and GS-13’s and they on paper make close to $80,000-$100,000 but see $40,000-$55,000. I am always looking at other jobs which match my qualifications to actually be able to see my paycheck.

JohnDavid
Wednesday 11:51 am

This has got to be a “Trolling” statement. If not, Madeleine Levine is an ill informed moron that knows nothing about the average federal government worker. $40,000 bonuses, wow, I wish. Maybe in the high levels of SES are folks making pretty good money. But those are few, like generals in the military (or politicians). I could go on for a while here, but why waste my time on stupid people.

roanokerosie
Saturday 6:09 am

Madeleine Levin, you are extremely uninformed. I am a federal employee and my agency hasn’t given step increases in a few years. My agency has never given bonuses. I make less than half of what you state is the average salary. There is no way I could retire in my 50’s (I’m 55 now). The most outrageous part of your rambling was that federal workers don’t pay payroll tax. Are you crazy or just stupid?????? To label all federal workers as lazy and immoral is highly offensive. Before you call us all a “disgusting bunch,” come work my job for a week or two. I have no doubt that you couldn’t handle it.

Marcus Phillips
Thursday 3:40 pm

Ms. Levine, where are you getting your numbers from? Average salary for a federal employee is WAY below $90,000. We PAY for the benefits, which take a nice chunk from my paycheck. I barely break $35,000 a year and that’s not counting my 4 kids yet. I drive a 10 year old car, never owned a Cadillac or anything of the sort. By the way, I work a part time job in the private sector just to make ends meet. There are government contractors that make more than I do.

Barbara
Thursday 9:49 pm
Amazing how ignorant some people are. There are those little people who are the worker bees -who come in early and work late just to make $1,266.00 more than last year. So yes, got a step increase, but what does it mean to get an extra $1,266.00 added to $37,983. After taxes and paying health insurance for the family ($525.00 monthly, $6,300.00 yearly) leaves about 25K to pay the increasing cost of food, gas, living expenses and oh ya, the extra money the college child needs while attending college. Today in a 2 income family – one governement and one private sector – what happens when the private sector says we are moving our company to Germany which leaves one (1) government worker hoping for and praying for a raise just to be able to make ends meet. It is amazing to see ignorant people put “ALL” governement worker in… Read more »

[…] the deal the current pay freeze for government workers on the GS scale will be lifted, but the existing pay freeze for members of Congress will […]

[…] what the unemployment rate is when you cast your vote. If you are government worker, you have seen no pay raises in the last few years and so a projected pay increase of 2% in 2013 is likely to mean little to […]

Darwin
Wednesday 8:38 pm

Oh and one more thing, it’s interesting that Congress people are not covered by this bill. They will probably get a raise though for all the “hard work” they do.

Darwin
Wednesday 8:38 pm

No raise folks. It is more that Obama will throw federal workers under the bus since he knows most of them will vote Democrat no matter what (lesser of the two evils). The official justification will be the government’s budget crisis.

Babs Anthony
Wednesday 7:26 pm

Tell that to the FBI agent who rescues your kidnapped child or thwarts a terrorist attack.

Kramer
Wednesday 4:12 pm

Government employees don’t deserve a pay rise. They are overpaid for what little they do anyway. If they want more money get a real job in the private sector.

Hard Working Federal Employee
Monday 11:58 am

You can say that we are over paid but do you really know that? I come to work 45 mins early everyday and put in my full day to get my job done. We have families and deserve an increase just like others. Think before you respond.

Lashon
Tuesday 12:30 am

I bust my tail everyday working 9-10 hours daily. So to say we are overpaid for the little we do: is not only an ignorant statement but someone who is bitter because you don’t have a government job.

Mike
Tuesday 2:02 pm

I worked in a private sector and now in government for 13 years. It was not too bad in the beginning and now I am working weekends, late hours (maybe because I am in IT). Our project manages handling 4-5 different projects. Regarding overpay for government employees, I wouldn’t be so quick. Our contractors’ salary is more than what I receive.

USA
Saturday 1:19 pm

Ignorance is power. (read: you’re an idiot, Kramer)

gail
Wednesday 4:13 pm

Tell that to your IRS tax agent the next time you get audited.

[…] this article for the proposed 2013 GS pay raise. I encourage you to subscribe (free) via Email or RSS to get the latest […]

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