It’s pay raise time for troops, DOD civilians
WASHINGTON — Troops worldwide will receive a 3.9 percent pay raise starting on Thursday, but Defense Department civilian employees working overseas will see only a 2.9 percent bump in their paychecks.
Under rules outlined by the White House two weeks ago, all stateside civilian federal workers will receive a pay raise of at least 3.5 percent: a 2.9 percent basic pay raise plus at least another 0.7 percent locality pay raise.
Workers in 37 metropolitan areas will see an even greater increase, because of the high cost of living there and the large disparity between government and private sector wages.
For example, federal workers in Washington, D.C., will see an overall pay increase of nearly 4.8 percent. Those in the Oakland and San Francisco area will see a 4.3 percent pay increase.
Overseas federal employees do not receive any such locality pay adjustment, and will get only the 2.9 percent base pay increase next year. Other cost-of-living adjustments, housing allowances and specialty pays for overseas workers are handled separately.
For servicemembers, the civilian locality pay and other adjustments are irrelevant. Everyone in the military receives a flat 3.9 percent increase in their base pay, before accounting for extra bonuses such as combat pay and family separation allowances.
The pay increase is the highest approved by Congress since 2004. The raise will mean about $70 a month more than last year for an E-3 with four years of service, and just over $105 a month for an E-5 with 10 years of service.
Officials from the Defense Department and Office of Personnel Management said the raises won’t be reflected on individual’s paychecks until the end of January, after the first full pay period of the new year.