The raise technically applies only to white-collar employees below the senior levels paid under the General Schedule pay system. However, blue-collar federal employees, who fall under a different system, will again have their raises tied to those of white-collar employees in their area.
The largest raise, of 5.15 percent, will be paid to employees working in the Seattle area. The smallest, 4.37 percent, applies to employees outside the four dozen city areas that have their own rates.
The Washington-Baltimore region encompasses those two cities, most of Maryland and Northern Virginia, and stretches into south-central Pennsylvania and eastern West Virginia.
The raises are being paid under an executive order because Congress did not specify a figure in a budget bill before adjourning.
Under the complex federal pay law, the president’s recommended figure is then paid by default. Biden had previously said he would divide a 4.6 percent average raise, with 4.1 percent paid across the board and the funds for the remainder paid in amounts that vary by locality. Friday’s order was needed to finalize the figures.
A pay cap limits increases for employees near the top of the General Schedule pay range, which in 2023 will be $183,500. A higher cap, which in most cases will be $212,100, applies to executives and to other senior career employees who are paid within a range and receive raises based on performance ratings. Political appointees will not receive a raise.
The raise is separate from the cost-of-living adjustment to be paid in January to federal retirees. Those increases are linked to an inflation measure that will boost annuities of most federal retirees by either 8.7 percent or 7.7 percent, depending on which retirement system applied to them.