Federal employees for the moment are in something of a lull in the storm over the pay raise, with attention focusing on whether the next pay distribution will contain the recently finalized higher rates and back pay retroactive to January 6.
The current biweekly pay period for most employees, the seventh of the year, ends Saturday (April 13). Pay distributions typically are made about a week later—a few days sooner for employees of agencies, a few days later for others. Payroll processers will have had a full biweekly period to work with since raises ranging from 1.66 to 2.27 percent by locality were specified in an executive order.
Many employees are hoping that the distribution will include the raise, and that they also will receive back pay reflecting the difference between the old and the new rates for those seven pay periods. However, there has been no announcement from either OPM or the major payroll processors—run by DoD, Agriculture, Interior and GSA—either way.
In past similar situations, the back pay in some cases was part of a regular pay distribution and in others it was made as a separate distribution. However, given the complexity of the project, there were some errors that took several more pay cycles to straighten out.