Federal Employees’ 2018 Pay Raise Approved in Executive Order

December 22, 2017 6:52 PM , Updated January 1, 2018 9:25 AM
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Blue piggy bank next to the numbers '2018' on a rising stack of coins indicating a pay raise for the new year

The 2018 pay tables for federal employees have now been released. The rates for each General Schedule grade, step and locality are now available in the GS Pay Calculator.

The new pay rates include an average pay raise of 1.9% percent and will be effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2018.

The base pay increase for 2018 is, as expected, 1.4%. There is an additional amount added for locality pay that will bring the overall average pay increase up to 1.9%. Here is a listing of the locality pay definitions for 2018.

The exact amount of the raise for each federal employee under the General Schedule will depend on the locality where a federal employee is working. Check out the GS Pay Calculator to look up your GS grade, step and locality rate.

Locality Pay for 2017

There were no new locality pay areas added for 2018. The Federal Salary Council had recommended adding Burlington, VT and Virginia Beach, VA. This recommendation was not adopted for 2018 by the Pay Agent. These new locality pay areas will most likely become part of the locality pay system in 2019.

The Salary Council has also recommended new locality pay areas for San Antonio, TX and Birmingham, AL. These will not be added in January 2018 either. Adding these cities as new locality pay areas was “tentatively approved” by the President’s Pay Agent. There is a regulatory process required before they can be added. The date of their future inclusion is unknown; it could be January 2019 before this actually occurs.

Pay Rates Depend on Geographic Location (Locality Pay)

The pay raise for the “Rest of the U.S.” will be 1.67%. The raise for the Washington, DC area will be an increase of 2.29%. The raise in the San Jose, San Francisco locality in California will be 2.21%.

The amount of the raise depends on an employee’s grade, step and the geographic location. These rates can easily be obtained with the GS Pay Calculator. For example, a GS 13, step 5 employee working in the Washington, DC locality pay area will see the results posted in this way:

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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