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When Does General Schedule Pay Increase?

Created: February 29, 2016 Last Modified: December 18, 2017

General Schedule pay is the most widely used pay scale in the U.S. Federal Government. The GS pay scale is used to pay over 1.5 million federal employees.

Yearly Across-the-Board Raise

Across the board pay raises are issued at the end of each calendar year. These year-end pay raises go into effect at the beginning of the first full pay-period of the new year. Pay-periods are two weeks long, so the yearly across-the-board raises go into effect during the first or second week of the new year. These year-end increases raise both the base-pay table and locality adjustment rates.

Read more about how GS raises pay raises are set.

Grade Increase

Under the GS system, there are several times during the year when your pay can be raised. Your Grade and Step can increase at any time. Grade is related to your position. So if you get a promotion, your grade will increase. This can happen at any time.

Step Increase

Your step can also increase at any time. Step is tied to your "time-in-service." At the end of your first year of service, you step automatically increases as long as you have meet minimum performance requirements. Read more about How Step Increases Work.

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