Obama directed a 2.1 percent pay boost for federal civilian employees in 2017, but the actual amount of an employee’s pay raise depends on various factors.
Senior executives will earn between $1,231 and $1,900 more in annual salary in 2017, according to the new SES pay table, effective Jan. 1.
For members of the Senior Executive Service under a certified SES performance appraisal system, the maximum annual salary will increase to $187,000 in 2017, up from $185,100 in 2016. Senior executives at the maximum SES pay rate who are not under a certified SES performance appraisal system will see their annual salary grow to $172,100 from the 2016 level of $170,400.
At the lowest end of the SES pay spectrum, the salary will increase from $123,175 (with or without a performance appraisal system) to $124,406 in 2017 (with or without a performance appraisal system).
The Office of Personnel Management has published the 2017 pay tables for the various categories of government employees, including those in the SES, the General Schedule, the Veterans Health Administration, and the Foreign Service. The rates of pay for uniformed service members and federal employees covered under special rates of pay also are available as well as pay adjustments for certain prevailing rate (wage) employees.
The top GS category – GS-15, Step 10 – will increase to an annual base salary of $134,776 this year from $133,444 in 2016. GS employees also will receive a locality pay boost in 2016; the exact amount of the increase for all career civilian employees will depend on their locality. Large urban areas including the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region and cities like San Diego and San Francisco, Calif., received the biggest total pay bumps in 2017. Click here to see the equation that OPM uses to calculate pay raises and to help figure out your 2017 increase (base plus locality) in dollars. You will need the figure from the GS base pay table and the percentage from the locality pay table to plug into the equation.
Members of the SES do not receive locality pay, but are eligible for performance-based awards.
President Obama issued a Dec. 27 executive order officially implementing a 2.1 percent raise for federal employees in 2017. Obama originally recommended a 1.6 percent pay raise for both civilian federal employees and the troops in 2017. But Congress voted to give service members a 2.1 percent salary boost in 2017, so Obama in a surprise move late last year decided to recommend a 2.1 percent match for feds. In 2016, the pay raise for both groups was 1.3 percent.
The new pay tables also include the 2017 rates of pay for the judiciary, those on the Executive Schedule, the vice president and Congress. Congressional salaries – both rank-and-file and leadership pay – have been frozen for the last several years. Congress last received a pay raise in 2009.
The pay rates of certain political appointees and the vice president remain frozen as well, despite the fact that the actual pay tables show an increase, because “the official statutory rates of pay for the vice president and Executive Schedule positions are used in determining the rate ranges and aggregate pay limitations for employees and pay systems unaffected by the pay freeze, such as GS, SL, ST, and SES positions” according to OPM. So, for example, while the pay rate of the vice president’s salary as listed in the 2017 table reflects an increase ($240,100), the actual annual amount ($230,700) will not change because that job’s salary has been frozen since 2013. If Congress lifts the pay freeze on the vice president’s salary in 2017, the new figure would be $240,100. Read this OPM memo for more information.