President Obama on Tuesday issued an executive order formally implementing his proposal for a 2.1 percent civilian pay raise in 2017.
The executive order is the last step in the pay raise process. Obama originally proposed a 1.6 percent boost for civilians, but in a surprise move earlier this month, he increased that figure to 2.1 percent to match the rate lawmakers granted troops as part of the Defense authorization act.
“In light of the decision of Congress to provide a 2.1 percent pay increase for military personnel in 2017 and reconsideration of current and projected economic conditions, I have concluded it would be appropriate to revise my original alternative plan for locality payments so that the total combined cost of the 1.0 percent across-the-board base pay increase and varying locality payments will be 2.1 percent of basic payroll, “ Obama said in a message to Congress announcing the higher percentage.
The new pay rates will take effect on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2017. The civilian raise will be split into a 1 percent across-the-board pay hike and 1.1 percent in locality based boosts. This means the actual raise civilians will see in their paychecks will vary depending on where they live.
The largest locality pay increases remain concentrated in major American cities, with the biggest boosts for California’s Bay area, the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington area (which also includes parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia), and the New York-Newark, N.J. area (which includes parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania). The locality pay rate in 2017 for San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, Calif., is 38.17 percent; for the D.C. area it is 27.10 percent; and for the NYC metro area it is 31.22 percent. General Schedule employees’ base pay is adjusted upward either by their specific locality’s percentage, or by the “rest of United States” designation. The “rest of U.S.” rate for 2017 is 15.06 percent.