First pay raise in a decade for some top feds

Thousands of top-level career feds, some of whom haven’t had a pay raise in years, will be getting a little something extra in their check when the 2019 pay raise clicks in. The raise, which also covers more than 1 million white collar civil servants, is expected to show up in mid-March for most people.

It will go to many members of the career General Schedule and the Senior Executive Services. For many political appointees it will be the first salary increase in 10 years.

The retroactive-to-January increase is 1.9 percent, with 1.4 going to everybody eligible and the remaining 0.5 percent earmarked for locality pay. That’s based in part on pay for similar jobs in the private sector in each locality area. The last time there was 1.9 percent raise feds in the Rest of the U.S. (RUS) got the smallest increase. Workers in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area got the biggest at 2.2 percent.

Currently, hundreds of GS-15 employees are capped at $164,200. That extends down to steps 8, 9 and 10 in the Washington-Baltimore area, and down to step 5 in San Francisco-San Jose.

The Professional Manager’s Association recently sent this out to their membership, which was provided to PMA by the IRS Human Capital Officer:

“Employees under high-level pay systems such as the SES do not get locality pay since they are in pay-for-performance systems, but the pay cap applying to them — in most cases, currently $189,600 — would increase by the 1.9 percent average. The pay cap applying to GS employees in the upper steps of GS-15 in some localities, $164,200, also would increase by that percentage.

“Also, for the first time since 2010, political appointees under the executive schedule are to receive a raise of 1.9 percent. Over that time the amounts actually paid to them have stayed the same even while the underlying rates have increased for purposes of increasing the pay caps. Pay for members of Congress is to remain frozen, however.”

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

Jerry Merryman, who died last week and was one of the inventors of the pocket calculator, got his start in electronics as a child. When he was about 11 years old, his local police would call on him to fix their radios.

Source: NBC News

Related Stories

    locality pay, minimum wage

    2019 locality pay tables expected early spring

    Read more
    federal pay raise

    What does the pay freeze mean for feds living in new locality pay areas?

    Read more
    locality pay

    OPM takes next long-awaited steps to establish 4 new locality pay areas

    Read more


Your Turn with Mike Causey


Learn about everything from pay, benefits and retirement, to buyouts, COLAs and pay freezes. Call the show live Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. at 202-465-3080 with your questions. Dial 605-562-0264 to listen live from any phone. Follow Mike on Twitter and send him an email with your questions and comments. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Podcast One.


Nov 30, 2021 Close Change YTD*
L Income 23.2400 -0.0853 4.85%
L 2025 12.0185 -0.0864 8.89%
L 2030 42.4936 -0.4191 11.31%
L 2035 12.7700 -0.1383 12.31%
L 2040 48.3533 -0.5716 13.33%
L 2045 13.2521 -0.1679 14.19%
L 2050 29.0465 -0.3933 15.08%
L 2055 14.2995 -0.2388 18.41%
L 2060 14.2994 -0.2388 18.41%
L 2065 14.2993 -0.2388 18.41%
G Fund 16.7157 0.0008 1.12%
F Fund 20.9535 0.0609 -1.44%
C Fund 68.8604 -1.3217 24.02%
S Fund 82.9574 -2.0314 17.73%
I Fund 37.5278 -0.39 11.23%
Closing price updated at approx 6pm ET each business day. More at
* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.