4 Things You Need to Know About the 2019 Federal Pay RaiseFederal Civilian Life
During the first few weeks of the shutdown, many Feds were disappointed by news of an executive order to freeze pay for Civilian Federal Employees in 2019. Then, in an unexpected turn, Congress passed a federal pay raise in a funding bill on February 15, effectively overturning the freeze. On March 28, President Trump signed an executive order officially implementing the change. In case you’re confused by the complicated discussions around federal pay, here are four things you need to know about the raise.
1. The Raise is Retroactive
2. The Percentages Vary
This raise includes a 1.4 percent increase across all agencies, and an average 0.5 percent increase in locality pay.(1) If you’re part of the six new locality pay areas(2) established last year (Birmingham, Alabama; Burlington, Vermont; Corpus Christi, Texas; Omaha, Nebraska; San Antonio, Texas; and Virginia Beach/Norfolk, Virginia), remember that your pay will be adjusted based on your locality, unlike areas grouped with the GS pay scale.
3. If You’ve Recently Changed Jobs or Retired
Calculating the back pay for this raise will be more complicated for employees who have recently changed jobs, transferred, or retired. This also applies to those who earned premium or overtime pay since January 6. As such, it may take longer for you to see the money. OPM has indicated that agencies will need to adjust lump sum payments for annual leave for Civilian Federal Employees who left public service (in a job change or retirement) in late 2018 or early 2019.(3) You can use OPM’s back pay calculator to see the distribution you’re owed.
4. If Your Pay Is Not Based on the General Schedule (GS) Pay Scale
Earn More, Save More
As you pay special attention to your paycheck looking for this raise to be reflected, review the cost of your FEGLI Group Term Life Insurance policy. On average, members who switched from FEGLI to WAEPA save over $290 a year.