The largest pay raise since January 2010 is set to take effect Sunday (January 8) for most federal employees, but there is variation both in the timing and size of the increases. The raise is effective as of the first full pay period of the year, which begins on that date for most–although some agencies are on different pay cycles–and which means that the raise will show up in the pay distribution reflecting the following two weeks; that distribution occurs a number of days later, again varying by agency.

For GS employees, the raise will range from 1.63 percent to 2.88 percent, varying by locality. The new GS pay cap of $161,900 will apply to those at the highest steps of GS-15 in 20 of the 47 localities–reaching down as far as step 5 in the highest-paid zone, the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose locality.

Please see: https://www.fedweek.com/news/pay-tables/

For SES and senior level/senior professional employees, whether the new cap of $187,000 applies depends on their current salary level and the performance-based raise they stand to receive. Those increases could occur as soon as January 8 but also might happen later, depending on agency practices.

For wage grade employees, who are under a separate locality-based system, the raises will again mirror those being paid to GS employees locally, although due to a complex capping formula, the maximum for them will be 2.43 percent. Wage grade raises are paid at differing times of the year, on a fiscal year basis, meaning that in some cases the raises will be retroactive, potentially as far back as the first pay period of October 2016.

Another special consideration applies to employees covered by “special rates”–higher salaries paid for hard-to-fill positions. They will get the across-the-board component of the GS raise, 1 percent, but additionally get only the higher of the GS locality component where they are or the special rate amount (not both). If the total locality amount exceeds the special rate amount, the special rate is ended; that will be the case for 16 of the 279 special rate schedules and for parts of some others, OPM has said. Political appointees will not receive a raise, nor will members of Congress.