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The Biden administration’s requirement for federal employees to make a minimum of $15 per hour is to take effect as of the start of the pay period beginning January 30, benefitting about 67,000 employees at two dozen agencies.

An OPM memo to agencies carries out a policy announced soon after Biden took office. The Defense Department will account for about 50,000, the large majority of them “non-appropriated fund” employees who work at operations at defense bases such as officers’ clubs and recreational facilities.


Other categories include about 9,700 custodial, food service and housekeeping workers at VA and about 2,000 at Agriculture including positions such as plant protection technicians and wildland firefighters.

OPM said the numbers are approximate and “may also vary slightly from month to month because of seasonality and agency workloads.”

To carry out the changes, OPM created single nationwide pay scale covering employees in GS-1 through -4 (see https://apps.opm.gov/SpecialRates/2022/Table001M01302022.aspx). The Defense Department, which oversees salary rates for wage-grade employees, is to carry out comparable changes in those rates. Where changes can’t be made by January 30 employees will be eligible for retroactive increases.

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2022 GS Locality Pay Tables here

FERS Retirement Guide 2022