Pay Raise For Federal Employees
Pay raises are an important part of a federal employee’s compensation package. They can mean higher paychecks, better health benefits, more time to spend with family and less stress.
A pay raise is typically approved in the last quarter of the year and goes into effect the following January. The pay raises for civilian employees are split between “across-the-board” base pay raises and locality adjustments that vary by job and location.
Each General Schedule (GS) grade has 10 pay steps, each with a $1,634 salary increase. GS employees earn pay steps based on their work history and performance.
In addition, GS employees are paid extra for time-limited promotions, such as career-ladder or merit promotion plan. Some agencies also offer recruitment bonuses and relocation allowances to attract and retain talent in a particular position.
The total amount of a pay raise is often determined by combining the across-the-board base pay rise with any locality adjustment percentages. Those who receive a larger locality boost may have to adjust their salaries to keep pace with the average rate of inflation.
As the President of the United States and Congress debate a possible pay increase for federal employees, there is a growing concern that the gap between what federal workers are paid compared to non-federal employees is too wide. The gap in pay between the two groups has grown to about five percent and is estimated to cost taxpayers more than $19.2 billion a year.
That’s why many Democratic lawmakers are calling on Congress to pass a law boosting Federal pay to an average of eight percent per year, or to eliminate the pay disparity altogether. A bill introduced by Congressman Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Senator Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, would do just that. It would also help close the pay gap for many more workers, including police officers and teachers.