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Federal Pay Raise 2024 | When Will The Raise Take Effect?

After years of small raises, federal employees are poised for a significant 5.2% pay raise in 2024. President Biden formalized this increase in an August 2022 letter to Congress outlining his alternative pay plan.

This raise will be the largest in over 40 years since the Carter administration’s 9.1% increase in 1980. But how did this historic raise come about, and what does it mean for the federal workforce? Let’s recap the details.

Background on Federal Pay Raises

American federal government

As a refresher, federal pay raises are determined annually based on the Employment Cost Index (ECI), which tracks private sector wage growth. The President issues an alternative pay plan by August 31st each year, adjusting the next year’s General Schedule (GS) pay scale.

While often below the ECI, President Biden has repeatedly stressed the importance of competitive federal compensation, including allotment loans for federal employees. For 2023, he authorized a 4.6% raise. His proposed 5.2% increase for 2024 echoes a commitment to attracting and retaining skilled civil servants.

Breakdown of the 5.2% Raise

According to Biden’s August 2022 announcement, the 5.2% raise includes:

  • A 4.7% across-the-board basic pay raise
  • A 0.5% average increase to locality pay

This raise applies to most civilian federal employees on the GS pay scale. Prevailing rate employees will also see a 4.7% wage increase.

The additional locality pay adjustment aims to bring federal salaries closer to parity with private sector roles in equivalent geographic regions. However, a gap of over 24% still remains on average nationwide according to 2021 data.

Reactions to the Historic Raise

Federal employee unions and advocacy groups have widely praised the 5.2% increase.

In a statement, National Treasury Employees Union President Doreen Greenwald said the raise “would help chip away at [the pay gap] and make federal employment more competitive.”

However, the 5.2% raise still falls short of proposals like the FAIR Act, which advocates for an 8.7% federal pay boost in 2024. But the increase represents substantial progress toward equitable compensation.

When Will the 2024 Raise Take Effect?

president Biden announcing federal pay raise 2024

President Biden is expected to sign an executive order in late December 2023 enacting the official pay tables reflecting the 5.2% raise. The new GS salary rates will then take effect starting the first pay period in January 2024.

With inflation persisting and private sector wages rising steadily, federal employees will welcome this pay boost to maintain their purchasing power and job satisfaction. Though unlikely to satisfy all advocates, the raise signifies a step toward acknowledging the value of civil servants facing complex challenges.

What are your thoughts on the 2024 federal pay raise? Do you think it demonstrates sufficient investment in the public sector workforce? Share your perspective below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the 2024 federal pay raise compare to previous years?

The 5.2% pay raise for 2024 will be the largest federal raise since 1980, when federal employees received a 9.1% pay bump under President Carter. Recent raises have typically ranged from 1-3%, with 2023 seeing a 4.6% increase.

When will I see the 2024 pay raise reflected in my paycheck?

The pay raise will go into effect on the first pay period that starts on or after January 1, 2024. For most federal employees, this means you will see the increased pay rate starting with the January 10, 2024 paycheck.

Does the pay raise apply to all federal employees?

The 5.2% increase announced by President Biden applies to most civilian federal employees on the General Schedule pay system. Military members will receive a 4.6% raise, while some senior federal officials and political appointees may not be impacted.

Will locality pay also increase in 2024?

Yes, the 5.2% raise includes a 0.5% average boost to locality pay nationwide. This aims to bring federal salaries more in line with local private sector pay for equivalent roles.

How is the federal pay raise determined each year?

By law, federal pay raises are determined based on changes to the Employment Cost Index (ECI), which measures private sector wage growth. However, the President can choose to propose an alternate pay plan, as President Biden did for 2024.

Will federal retirees also get a benefits boost in 2024?

Retiree cost-of-living adjustments are tied to the Consumer Price Index rather than the ECI. The 2024 COLA rate won’t be announced until Fall 2023.

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Samuel Foster
Samuel Foster brings a keen insight into current affairs and politics. As a skilled writer, he not only stays abreast of the latest developments but also articulates them with depth and clarity, making him a valuable contributor to our website.

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