The Best of 2015

What were the most popular articles on in 2015?

Every year at this time, we like to take a moment to reflect on the events of the past year. For, that means looking back at the year’s most popular articles.

Pay, benefits and retirement are the most requested and in-demand articles for our users, and as the following list shows, 2015 was no exception to this. From the projected pay raise for 2016 to retirement planning advice from our authors, the list that follows captures the most widely read articles on from this year.

We are both fortunate and thankful to have a growing number of authors writing for us who offer our users the benefit of their expertise and experience in working for and with the federal community. Because of them, it makes it possible for us to provide our readers with the wide variety of articles that you will find on our site.

Our thanks to all of you who visit the network of sites throughout each day to stay informed. We wish all of you a happy and prosperous 2016!

  1. Locating the Salary of a Federal Employee
    The fiscal year 2014 individual federal employee salary information is now online. Here is how to sort through this large database. Note that this article describes the main database of federal employees and not the database of Postal Service employees which is also available at
  2. 2016 Locality Pay and How It Will Impact Your Paycheck
    FedSmith has received questions from geographic readers in areas to be covered by new locality pay rates. Most readers asking questions are wondering if they will receive the full locality pay differential cited by the Federal Salary Council. Our advice: Don’t make any purchases based on your expectations of increased income until you know the actual amount you will receive. This article explains why.
  3. President Releases Fed Employee Pay Plan and Locality Pay Rates for 2016
    What are the locality pay rates for 2016? President Obama has released his alternative pay plan that gives the percentages for every locality pay area in the country including the 13 new areas.
  4. Health Insurance Premiums Up in 2016: What Will You Pay for Self Plus One Coverage?
    Federal employee health insurance premiums in 2016 will see their largest increase in five years. Here is a summary and how those electing self plus one may fare next year.
  5. President Directs 1% Federal Pay Raise for 2016
    President Obama has issued a letter directing an across-the-board pay raise of 1% for federal employees in 2016.
  6. 1.3% Federal Pay Raise Proposed for 2016
    President Obama will propose a 1.3% pay raise for federal employees in 2016.
  7. Taxes Federal Employees Will Face in Retirement
    When a federal employee has retired, income taxes do not go away, they just change somewhat. Federal pensions, Social Security and distributions from the Thrift Savings Plan are all taxable to some extent. These are some taxes you can expect to incur in 2015 as a retired federal employee.
  8. How Much Will Your Pay Increase in 2016?
    How much will your pay raise be in 2016? The president has recommended 1.3%. Congress could intervene but has not done so. What about a pay increase for military personnel and federal retirees?
  9. Will Federal Retirees Get a COLA Increase in 2016?
    How much will federal retirees and Social Security recipients receive with a new COLA calculation that will go into effect in January? As of today, there would not be any increase.
  10. Proposal Would Give 102k Federal Employees a Pay Raise in 2016
    A proposed rule would create 13 new locality pay areas for some federal employees. That is good news for those employees, but there could also be a negative impact of this action on 2016 pay for federal employees currently under the locality pay system.
  11. OPM Data Breach: What You Need to Know
    More information is continuing to be released about the massive computer breach that hit the Office of Personnel Management’s computer network and left so many federal workers’ personal data potentially vulnerable. Here are the key facts you need to know about this ongoing situation.
  12. Spending Bill Deal Seals 2016 Federal Pay Raise
    Congress has not taken action on the 2016 federal employee pay raise. What does this mean for your GS pay in 2016?
  13. Medicare Part B Premiums Are Scheduled to Rise 52% in January
    Starting in January, most retirees under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), who also are enrolled in Medicare Part B, could see a 52% jump in their monthly Medicare premiums.
  14. Obama to Give Federal Workers Paid Parental Leave
    President Obama will sign a presidential memorandum this week to give federal employees at least 6 weeks of paid sick leave when having a child.
  15. President Tells Federal Workers They Can Go Home Early on Christmas Eve
    President Obama has issued an executive order granting federal workers an extra half day off on Christmas Eve.
  16. Constructing a Retirement Income Plan
    There are many factors to consider when constructing a strategy for retirement. Through the use of detailed examples, the author outlines some of the most crucial sources of income federal employees are most likely to have in retirement which they need to take into account when devising their own retirement income plans.
  17. 2016 Pay Raise One Step Closer to Becoming A Reality
    A pay raise for federal employees in 2016 just became one step closer to reality.
  18. Lawmakers Want to Give Federal Employees a 3.8% Pay Raise Next Year
    Two lawmakers are introducing legislation that would give federal employees a 3.8% pay raise in 2016.
  19. Bill Would Cut Pay for Top Earning Federal Employees
    Legislation has been introduced that would cut the pay of federal workers earning over $100,000 per year and also tie their pay to performance of the overall economy.
  20. Top 20 Federal Agencies With the Highest Average Salaries
    Which federal organizations have the highest average salaries? Here is a listing of the top 20.
  21. How Much Will the 2016 COLA Add to Your Income?
    How much of a COLA increase will federal retirees have in 2016? Any increase at all is looking highly unlikely.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.