Within-grade increase, step increase and timing


Q. I just had a within-grade increase but was told that I was also submitted for a quality step increase. My WIGI are due at the end of November. If I get a QSI midyear, would that then change when my WIGIs are given?

A. According to the Office of Personnel Management, “A QSI does not affect the timing of an employee’s next regular WGI unless the QSI places the employee in step 4 or step 7 of his or her grade. In these cases, the employee becomes subject to the full waiting period for the new step — i.e., 104 weeks or 156 weeks, respectively — and the time an employee has already waited counts toward the next increase. The employee receives the full benefit of receiving a WGI at an earlier date and has not lost any time creditable toward his or her next WGI.”


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. Hi, I am a GS 7 step 9 now. Should I look for another job before I reach step 10, so I don’t stagnate at that level?

    • If you don’t want to be stuck at the top of your current grade, where you’d only receive pay raises when – and if – they occur, then looking for a job at a higher grade with more pay steps to climb would be a good idea.

  2. Good morning Mr. Jones,
    Thank you for that piece of info, as I’m at the same pay level like Kathleen.



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