The average 1.9 percent general schedule pay raise that was effective in the first full pay period of the year, which ended January 20 for most, should be reflected in pay distributions covering that period and which all federal employees should have received by now.

GS raises varied by locality from 1.67 to 2.29 percent up to a pay cap, which affects those in the upper steps of GS-15 in some localities, now of $164,200. Blue-collar employees receive their raise at differing times of a fiscal year; raises for them are the same percentage as GS employees locally, up to a cap of 2.13 percent. Raises for SES members and those under other high-level pay systems are based on performance ratings but as a practical matter many agencies pay those raises early in the year. Their pay cap is rising to $189,600.


Regardless of salary system, changes in FEHB or FEDVIP elected during last fall’s open season–and changes in premiums in a plan for those who didn’t change plans or coverage levels–also should have been reflected in the pay distribution covering the January 7-20 pay period. The plan year under the flexible spending account program, during which elections also were allowed in the open season, runs concurrent with a calendar year.

The raise also may have triggered higher coverage under FEGLI Basic and Option B, for those who have them, with a corresponding increase in the premiums, since both are based on salary rounded to the next $1,000.

Retirees who were eligible for the COLA payment of 2 percent (smaller for those retired for less than a year) should have seen the increase effective with their January payments, along with changes in insurance premiums.