Your New Salary: How Much Will You Make in 2010?

By on December 27, 2009 in Current Events with 0 Comments

2010 is almost upon us and, for many readers, they want to know the answer to the question: "How much will I make next year?"

To see how much your salary will be, check out the updated 2010 pay calculator.

The federal pay saga has gone through its usual ups and downs this year. The final decision: a 1.5% increase in your basic pay and an 0.5% locality pay increase to be distributed so that some localities see a bigger increase than others. President Obama announced earlier in 2009 that he was asking federal employees to sacrifice and was recommending  a 2% average annual pay increase for federal employees. 

Federal employees have been receiving pretty good annual pay raises in recent years. For example, the average federal employee received a pay raise of 3.9% in 2009. Federal employees received an average pay increase of 3.5% in 2008, 2.7% in 2007 and 3.1% in 2006 and 4.1% back in 2004.

The president has now issued an executive order implementing the new pay raise. The big winner for 2009: federal employees working in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with a total pay increase of 2.42%.

Another big change for this year: Locality pay for Alaska and Hawaii. When you go to our 2010 pay calculator, you will see a break-out at the end of the calculator to incorporate these two areas.

The bad news for some people: There is a pay cap limited to Level IV of the Executive Schedule. That translates into $155,500. San Jose has the most annual salary categories capped at the $155,500 figure with 5. Houston, Los Angeles and New York all come in second with the most annual salary level categories capped (3).

Here is how the pay raises look in different cities for 2010:

 

 

Why is My 2010 Raise Less Than 2%?

Some readers have also inquired as to why their 2010 pay raise will be less than 2% when they have read they were getting a 2% increase.

Your 2010 pay increase is based, in large part, on an increase in your 2009 base pay rate. Your base pay rate is not the same as your entire pay since most readers get locality pay. Here are the base pay rates for 2009.

Your base pay is important because, in the bill passed by Congress, there is a section that reads:

"The adjustment in rates of basic pay for employees under the statutory pay systems that takes effect in fiscal year 2010 under section 5303 of title 5, United States Code, shall be an increase of 1.5 percent…." (emphasis supplied)

In effect, your basic pay will increase by 1.5% in 2010.

There is also an increase of 0.5% in locality pay. As noted in the bill:

"…an increase of 0.5% (with comparability payments to be determined and allocated among pay localities by the President).

In other words, your final pay depends in part on your geographic area. So, if you are living in the "Rest of the U.S.," or Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Milwaukee or a few other places, you will get less than a 2% total pay increase.

Those in larger cities will get more. San Diego will get 2.12%. The San Francisco area and New york City areas will go up 2.11%. Boston will get 2.17%. And, as noted above, those in the DC area will get 2.43%.

Our 2010 pay calculator will reveal your total pay increase including the 1.5% basic pay increase and the locality pay increase for your geographic area. 

The comment by some readers that they will getting less than a 2% pay increase next year is correct. This is because 1.5% of your basic pay will come out to less than 1.5% of your current total pay package. Those that get a higher amount in locality pay will get an overall pay increase of more than 2%. Those that get a smaller amount will get less than 2%.

As usual, the federal pay system is as clear as mud. We hope you find the pay calculator to be useful. And, in addition, we hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

© 2016 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters onĀ federal human resources.

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