OPM Releases List of Areas Impacted by New Locality Pay and Changes to Existing Pay Areas

OPM has released 2016 locality pay area definitions including new locality pay areas and counties impacted by changes to existing locality pay areas.

On October 27, 2015, final regulations to define General Schedule (GS) locality pay areas were published on behalf of the President’s Pay Agent in the Federal Register. These regulations, applicable the first day of the first pay period in January 2016, link the definitions of GS locality pay area boundaries to updated metropolitan area definitions established by the Office of Management and Budget in February 2013. (See Proposal Would Give 102k Federal Employees a Pay Raise in 2016)

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has published the list of the locality pay areas for 2016.Is your area impacted by any of these changes? Will receive a pay raise next year as a result of now being included in these new and existing areas? You will have to check out this OPM publication to see if your county is now in a locality pay area.

One other item: We do not know what the locality pay rates will be next year in any of these geographic areas. We will advise our readers of this information as soon as it becomes available.

The final regulations also establish 13 new GS locality pay areas. These new locality pay areas are:

  • Albany-Schenectady, NY
  • Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, NM
  • Austin-Round Rock, TX
  • Charlotte-Concord, NC-SC
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Davenport-Moline, IA-IL
  • Harrisburg-Lebanon, PA
  • Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS
  • Laredo, TX
  • Las Vegas-Henderson, NV-AZ
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
  • St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL and
  • Tucson-Nogales, AZ.

A number of readers located close to these areas have asked if their location is included in the new locality pay areas. In addition, new areas adjacent or outside of locality pay areas have now been added to the existing locality pay areas.

The list of pay areas and the counties impacted are extensive. The Office of Personnel Management has not published a comprehensive list of the 2016 locality pay areas. The FIPS codes referenced in the OPM documentation refers to Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) geographic codes with a two-digit State and three-digit county identifier as defined in the OPM document.

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