3.1% Raise for Federal Employees in 2006

House and Senate have both approved 3.1% pay raise for federal employees in 2006

The yearly saga of the federal pay increase for next year is moving along–and recent events will undoubtedly give many readers a smile this morning.

Last summer, the House of Representatives passed a bill approving a 3.1 percent increase for the federal employee civilian workforce. The provision was part of the Transportation, Treasury and HUD spending bill.

The administration had proposed a 2.3% pay increase for federal workers this year.

Late last week, the Senate also approved a 3.1% pay increase for federal employees to take effect in January. The pay raise is included in the Senate’s version of the Transportation, Treasury and HUD spending bill.

As the House and Senate versions of the bill are different, the differences will have to be worked out in a conference committee. But, good news for federal employees, there are no differences in the portion of the bill regarding the pay raise so it is unlikely that this provision will be impacted.

Federal employees and retirees and military personnel are all getting a raise in 2006. As reported earlier, the COLA increase for federal retirees (depending on several factors) will be 4.1% based on figures from a Consumer Price Index. Military personnel will also be receiving a 3.1% raise in 2006.

As has happened in recent years, the issue of "pay parity" for federal civilian and military personnel were probably important in determining the pay raise for civilians. The 3.1% pay raise for military personnel was already approved and the raise for civilians followed along. (See Military Pay, Retiree Pay and Civilian Pay: What’s The Difference?)

The 3.1% raise will not be the figure used for all federal employees. It is an average pay increase. Federal employees in some areas will receive a larger amount because of the locality pay differential. So, for example, employees in the Washington, DC metropolitan area will receive a higher percentage increase of about 3.44 percent.

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. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47