Reimbursement Rates for Use of Private Vehicle Lowered by GSA

It isn’t automatic that the price of everything goes up. There was no COLA increase for federal retirees this year (although health insurance increased). Gas is also less expensive and reimbursement rates for feds who use their own car for business has just been reduced.

Based on the many comments that are sent to our website each day, many readers are unhappy. Some are unhappy because they are retired and did not get a COLA increase in 2010. Others are unhappy because the average federal pay increase for 2010 was 2% but that was not sufficient or, in some cases, the writer received less than 2% based on his geographic location.

Others are unhappy because their health insurance rates have skyrocketed in 2010 and others are unhappy because their long term care insurance premiums have also gone up.

To add to the often stated unhappiness, here is an event that will impact some readers.

If you use your personal vehicle for government business, you will be getting a smaller reimbursement.

The General Services Administration (GSA), following the lead of the Internal Revenue Service, has reduced the amount you will receive per mile when using your own car for federal business. In 2009, the rate was 55 cents per mile.

But, as of January 1, 2010, the rate is 50 cents per mile.

The 50 cents per mile is the lowest reimbursement rate since 2007. On February 1st of that year, GSA set the reimbursement rate at 48.5 cents per mile. As gas prices went up, the reimbursement rate hit a high of 58.5 cents per mile for the latter part of 2008 (See Mileage Reimbursement Rate Headed Up?). Because gas prices went down in 2009, the rate fell back to 55 cents.

The reimbursement rate for motorcycles also went down on January 1st—from 52 cents to 47 cents but the reimbursement rate for using your own airplane went up. It is now $1.29 instead of $1.25.

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