The President’s Pay Agent has released the 2016 General Schedule Pay Rates and they are now available on FederalPay.org. There is an average raise of 1.3% for all federal white collar employees on the GS pay schedule. There is a 1% across-the-board raise that applies for all GS employees. Locality rates have also been raised in many locations, including 13 new locality areas.
The new pay rates will go into effect on the first day of the first full pay period in 2016. January 1st is the middle of a pay period so the new pay rates will not go into effect until January 8, 2016.
More: View 2016 Locality Rates
President Obama announced the 1% across the board raise on Augest 28, 2015 in a letter to the Speaker of the House. The official federal locality rates were published later on November 30, 2015 in a letter to congress.
The pay raise is below the average pay increase seen by the private sector last year. This means that the pay gap between government workers and private sector will continue to expand in 2016. In fact, President Obama conceded that the pay increase is below the pay increase seen in the private sector.
In January 2014 and again in January 2015, increases for civilian Federal employees were limited to a 1.0 percent overall pay increase, an amount lower than the private sector pay increases and statutory formula for adjustments to the base General Schedule for 2014 and 2015.
Presedent Obama on November 30, 2015 in a letter to Congress
Although the 2016 pay raise is less than expected, the pay increase is welcome coming off a 3-year pay freeze that ended in 2014.
Employees in areas with the worst pay gap between private sector have seen a slightly higher than the average locality increase 0.3%. The highest raise was San Fransisco with 0.6% (not including the 1% across-the-board increase). San Fransisco was already the highest locality rate in the country.
The average locality pay increase for employees in the new locality pay areas is only 0.3% but now that official pay areas have been established, these localities will be in the running for more extensive raises in the future. The hard part of establishing a new locality pay area has been done.
In addition, all 2016 pay rates have now been incorporated into our 2016 GS pay calculator!