How Much Money Are You Losing Under the Pay Freeze?

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By on December 22, 2011 in Current Events with 0 Comments

A union has recently published a pay freeze calculator that purports to let federal employees determine how much money they are losing under a two or three year pay freeze based on their current annual salaries.

According to its Web site, “The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), AFL-CIO & CLC, is a diverse labor union representing more than 80,000 women and men in professional, technical, administrative and associated occupations in the United States and Canada. Our members are employed by federal, public and private employers.”

Most civilian federal employees are currently under a two year pay freeze that was enacted by the Obama administration at the start of 2011. There have been discussions of possibly extending it to three years, most recently because of a Republican proposal in the House to be used to pay for extending the payroll tax cut.

So how does the calculator work? It’s quite simple. You enter an annual salary into the form and it will display a cumulative table showing compounded lost salary over the course of twenty years under both a two and three year pay freeze.

Using a $75,000 per year salary as an example, the table shows a loss of $1,500 after one year under both a two and three year pay freeze and goes all the way up to a loss of $70,706.89 after 20 years under a two year freeze and $102,825.36 after 20 years under a three year freeze.

The fine print on the calculator page states, “Assumptions are based on a 2% inflation rate on the base salary. NOTE: The SSN COLA in 2011 was more than 3%; the estimated 2% inflation rate is a conservative increase.”

You can try out the calculator for yourself to determine whether or not you believe the projected losses it lists for your salary are too low, too high, or about right.

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.