What the 2018 Pay Raise Means for You

Members of the Senior Executive Service will see an increase in their pay of between $1,742 and $2,400 come January, according to the new pay table released by the Office of Personnel Management.

SES employees at agencies with a certified performance appraisal system can earn a maximum of $189,600 next year, up from $187,000 in 2017. Those at agencies without a performance appraisal system can earn up to $174,500 in 2018, an increase of $2,400 over this year.

At the bottom of the SES pay schedule, employees will earn a minimum of $126,148 in 2018 regardless of a performance appraisal system, an increase from $124,406 in 2017.

OPM released the 2018 pay tables for various facets of the federal employment, including the General Schedule, law enforcement officers, employees at the Veterans Health Administration and other agencies with special rates, after a flurry of activity last Friday to finalize federal workers’ pay increase for next year. The President’s Pay Agent released its annual report on locality pay, which delayed implementation of two new regions, and then President Trump issued an executive order finalizing the 1.9 percent pay raise for civilian feds.

The White House’s 1.9 percent pay raise, which was first proposed in Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget request and is less than the 2.4 percent increase approved by Congress for members of the military, is split into a 1.4 percent increase in base pay, and a 0.5 percent to locality pay.

An employee in the highest classification of the General Schedule, GS-15 Step 10, will receive a $1,883 increase in base pay next year, from $134,776 in 2017 to $136,659. The change in locality pay is different depending on where an employee works.

To see how your total pay will increase—including the boost in locality pay—OPM offers a calculator to determine your 2018 salary. It asks users for their GS and step level and in which locality area they work.

Members of the SES are not eligible for locality pay, although they do have opportunities for performance-based awards.

Federal employees on the executive schedule, which includes top-level political appointees and the vice president, also saw a 1.4 percent increase in their relevant pay tables. Although those officials have seen their pay frozen since 2013, the pay freeze is scheduled to expire at the end of 2017, according to a memo from acting OPM Director Kathleen McGettigan.

“Unless extended by new legislation, the pay freeze will end on the last day of the last pay period that begins in calendar year 2017 (i.e., January 6, 2018, for those on the standard biweekly payroll cycle),” McGettigan wrote. “[We] will issue separate guidance regarding whether this pay freeze will be continued or terminated.”

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