Pay Freeze Still in Effect for Some Federal Employees

While limited in its applicability, there is still a pay freeze for some federal employees in senior positions.

The freeze on the actual rate of pay for the Vice President and certain senior political appointees will continue in effect at the 2013 level of pay.

Why the Freeze is Still in Effect

The freeze is still in effect because of the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (Public Law 114-254). This legislation provides continuing appropriations to federal agencies through April 28, 2017.  The authority and conditions provided in FY 2016 appropriations laws still apply.

The executive order on 2017 pay adjustments shows official pay rates for the Vice President, Executive Schedule positions, and other positions affected by the pay freeze.

Impact of Statutory Rates of Pay

Statutory pay rates for the Vice President and Executive Schedule positions determine the rate ranges and pay limitations for employees and pay systems generally unaffected by the pay freeze.

Executive Schedule Pay Rates

Level I $207,800
Level II $187,000
Level III $172,100
Level IV $161,900
Level V $151,700

Vice President And Members of Congress

Vice President $240,100
Senators $174,000
Members of the House $174,000
Delegates to the House $174,000
Majority leader and minority leader of the Senate $193,400
Majority leader and minority leader of the House $193,400
Speaker of the House $223,500

While there are pay limitations, positions that are generally unaffected by the pay freeze include General Schedule (GS), Senior Executive Service (SES), senior-level (SL) and scientific and professional (ST) positions.

The official 2017 pay rate for EX-IV is $161,900. This rate is used in applying the trigger for coverage under the pay freeze for covered political appointees.

An SES or SL political appointee paid less than $161,900 may receive a pay increase up to this rate. A person in these positions may not receive an increase above this rate or any subsequent increase. There are some exceptions provided in the pay freeze statutory authority.

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