Pay Freeze Ends: Federal Employees to Get 1% Raise in 2014

By on December 23, 2013 in Current Events, Pay & Benefits with 54 Comments

President Obama  issued an executive order late Friday granting a 1% across-the-board pay increase to federal workers for 2014.

The executive order had been expected. The raise was requested by the White House earlier this year. Congress did not take any steps to prevent the implementation of the 1% raise as it could have done on more than one occasion including in the latest budget agreement. That budget agreement will require new federal employees to contribute more toward their future retirement pensions.

This will be the first across-the-board pay raise for federal employees since federal employees received a 2% increase in January 2010. Federal employees have still been able to receive payments such as bonuses, overtime, within-grade increases and promotion pay raises. While the raise applies to most federal employees, blue-collar workers (wage grade) will not receive any increase.

Federal agencies must accommodate the pay increases within their budgets and they do not collect additional funds because of Mr. Obama’s order. Locality pay will remain at the same level as in 2013.

Joseph A. Beaudoin, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), said “Today’s announcement by the president provides much-needed relief for America’s hard-working, middle-class federal employees whose paychecks have been frozen while the cost of gas, groceries and housing has increased. As the pay gap between private- and public-sector workers has grown, ending the three-year pay freeze for public workers is an important investment in maintaining the strength of the federal workforce.”

No doubt, readers will have questions about their 2014 pay rates. Many of these questions cannot be definitively answered until the documents implementing the new pay rates have been issued by the Office of Personnel Management. To see an approximation of what your pay will be in 2014, check out the GS pay calculator and you can see the 1% pay raise calculation.

© 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 on federal human resources.

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  1. Sodepop88 says:

    I say give the retired civies a pay raise AND a cola………. I got 6 (six!) millennials, they can pay for mine.

  2. Bill Williams says:

    What about retiree’s, are we chopped liver? We worked, we paid,. we get screwed on Social Security off sett, and those COLA’s, now there’s a deal. Hell’s bells, I cannot draw my deceased wife’s SS. Yes, the bureaucrats can screw you over every time, count on it.

  3. bioya40 says:

    While any raise is nice, I really dislike people that think we should not even be getting the 1% increase. The 1% increase over the next year does not cover what I lost during the furloughs.

  4. asp0411 says:

    I think all WG’s should push to dump AFGE. Here’s what I’ve received for my union dues:
    – worked while every one else was on involuntary paid vacation
    – 3 year pay freeze and increased retirement costs (now 4 years)
    – 1% pay raise for GS employees, nothing for WG’s
    How worse could it have been without the union help?

  5. White_Birch says:

    I don’t understand why Wage Grade employees are not seeing a 1% pay increase as well. Hopefully this will be corrected.

  6. Linda says:

    I’ll take the 1% and be happy. It beat no raise…and it’s not any better than we used to get under Reagan.

  7. Eagle1 says:

    Thank you King Obama for the generous raise! I have truly prospered under your rule!

  8. me says:

    Meanwhile, everyone still votes republican. Granted, I’m no Obama fan, i do know who is attacking the lower class and me.

    • konc2 says:

      You obviously are drinking way too much Kool-aid. Here’s some facts, and I know you lefty’s don’t let facts get in the way of your incoherent rants, but here goes. Under Reagan pay raises were:

      Add up your dem controlled government for the 1st two years of the messiah and 2/3rds controll for the last 3 years and tell me the percent raises you got? Darn those facts, they just get in the way of your bizzaro world ranting.

    • shane hibbs sr says:

      Everyone still votes for Repub?!? Dems rule the Senate and Obama rules the White House like a little Napolean. Meanwhile, who is attacking the lower class? I’m one of those blue collar Wage Grade employees. How much did Obama raise my wages? 0%, while the GS-11 making $75,000 a year got a 1% paise raise to help pay for increase cost of gas, milk, food, etc. Yeah, we know who is attacking the lower class. Its the dems like Obama and reid.

  9. InsultingJokeOfAnIncrease says:

    In the meanwhile, government pay lags private sector pay by about 40%. What a joke. All typical everyday expenses have increased by about 10 to 25%. Will be retiring out for significantly higher pay in private sector.

  10. herdingmice says:

    WOW! A whopping 1% raise. I’m so excited!

  11. Just a Poor WG worker says:

    At what point did the people on the hill forgot about this work force. Have they forgotten if it;
    Flies, Floats, Drives, Electrical, Steam or Hydro driven, if it gives you a lift to you floor, keeps the temp in your office just right and if its broken Its a Wage Grade that is working on it!!!!
    I’m still glad my GS brothers & sisters got one.

    • lvmra says:

      That’s because the Govt. would outsource us in a heartbeat if they could actually find someone dependable enough to do our jobs. In the meantime we don’t even exist……unless it doesn’t fly, float, or the power goes out or they are cold, then its our rear-ends!!!!! We are the sub-servants.

    • Larry says:

      I work in an office of 150 people….not a single WG here. If my GOV needs work, I take it to the GSA-certified contract mechanic. If my PC breaks, I call one of my office’s GS12 IT specialist. When the building chiller goes down, my one of my office’s GS10 facilities people calls the AC contractor.

  12. PF in MD says:

    The pay calculator only calculates a 1/2 percent raise, not the full 1 percent.

  13. AKFed says:

    I’m glad that my GS brothers and sisters are getting a much needed raise, but those of us in the WG pay system have suffered as well. We need to all stand in solidarity in support of legislation that will correct this inequity and allow an increase to WG pay also.

    • $30795581 says:

      I agree! I am a GS employee and there is no reason the WG should not also receive the same increase.

      • gmanqa says:

        WG don’t get the same type of raise as GS. I’ve been both. WG get’s their pay adjustments based on a joint management-employee(union) wage survey that is conducted once each year to determine the “prevailing” wage rates within their geographic areas that are being paid by employers & industry for jobs that are at least somewhat similar in nature. The wage areas for WG are not the same as GS locality areas, not even related at all. I expect that WG’s will begin getting their raises again in 2014. They don’t even get them at the same time of year as GS. Every Wage Survey area has it’s own timetable. For example, when I worked in Shreveport, LA, we got our raise in July every year. Every survey area is different. Look up the Wage Grade pay tables at OPM and you’ll see the BIG difference between GS & WG, & how & when they get their raises. It’s way too early for WG employees to already be complaining about not getting a raise. I don’t believe they’ve been told this by anybody. No need to jump the gun. Have a little patience…..

        • AKFed says:

          Granted, but under the pay freeze WG were not allowed to receive raises due as a result of the local wage surveys. The authorization for the GS raise did not provide for WG to receive any raises. Furthermore, WG raises are capped at a level not to exceed the GS%. The solution is to allow WG increases due as a result of the most recent WG survey up to the 1% allowed by law.

  14. LadyGuest says:

    Yes, it’s not a great raise, but at least it’s something this year. Best of all, it will compound over the remaining years that I work, i.e. if I work another 15 years I will get that 1% (on top of any future raises) for each of those 15 years.

  15. Philip says:

    What about new locality pay areas? It appears there are no new ones, when previously it was announced that there would be new areas this year

  16. WORLDBFREE says:

    When is the GS pay chart coming out?

  17. haventibeengood? says:

    It should say “GS workers get raise” WG’s are out of luck

  18. an American says:

    it’s a shame that the pencil pushers received it rather than the folks that do actual work. and that is coming from a GS. FWA.

    • Taxpayer says:

      Yeah…”pencil pushers” most likely went to college for 4 or more years just to sit around and do nothing. It’s the ditch diggers that do all the work.

    • Fed_Peasant says:

      Surrender your welfare bennies.

    • $30795581 says:

      As a GS employee…I am fully supportive of WG also receiving an increase…no need to bash other workers as it doesn’t help our case to receive an increase for the WG.

    • Fella says:

      I guess it depends on where you are. Fort Knox pays off of a wage survey with Louisville, KY. While Fort Knox GS employees are RUS, WG pay is off the charts (comparitively speaking). Go down to Huntsville, AL; GS employees are still RUS and WG makes about $5 less.

  19. craig says:

    The article was not definitive with regard to WG employees; are we to get a raise as well?

    • FedSmith says:

      We thought we made it as clear as possible regarding wage grade employees with the sentence that reads: “While the raise applies to most federal employees, blue-collar workers (wage grade) will not receive any increase.”

  20. Better Not Say says:


  21. Rambo1957 says:


  22. Bethany says:

    Same thing happened last year….but then it was blocked. Hope it sticks this time!

    • Jake1234 says:

      This is good news 1%, but with our health insurance premium going up 3.7% we are all in the hole 2.7% right off the bat for the new year. HAPPY NEW YEAR

      • AlabamaBlues says:

        Better than being in the hole 3.7%. Happy New Year to you too.

      • Fella says:

        Nope.. that’s not how it works. Your health insurance premium is going up 3.7% based off of last year’s premium, not of your salary. You’re getting a 1% increase to your salary, not your insurance premium. See the difference? Example: if you make $10,000, and pay $300 in insurance, your salary will go up to $10,100 while your insurance premium will go up to $311.10. You’re still up $88.90. Merry Christmas!

        • shockdj says:

          You are absolutely correct regarding Jake’s healthcare comment. Unfortunately, insurance premiums are not the only expenses rising at a greater rate than 1% annually. Both consumer prices and earnings rose at a higher rate.

        • retired worker fed says:

          So we will still pay a higher percentage of our pay for health insurance than last year.
          My premium went up about 2-2 1/2%

          • Fella says:

            You’re right there, but to say you’re in the hole 1-1.5% because your health coverage is going up 2-2.5% and you’re only getting a 1% increase in salary is faulty logic as it’s comparing apples and oranges. Shockdj makes a better point…