Q: I just heard the news about the freezing of federal employees’ pay rates. Does this also mean that we will not receive within-grade increases that are due to us in the next two years? A: Because a pay freeze is a proposal and not a fact (the Congress would have to pass legislation to make it happen), it’s far too early to say what would happen to within-grade increases.
Q: I’m a WG-9, Step 3. We just recently received the 2010 cost-of-living adjustment. However, it was not retroactive to January 2010 like the GS COLA adjustments were. Will this automatically be retroactive, or is this COLA effective the date the president signed the order? A: Wage system and GS employees don’t receive cost-of-living adjustments. They receive pay increases. While the increases for GS employees are usually effective on the first pay period beginning on or after Jan. 1, wage system increases are based on wage surveys conducted at different times of the year and vary by locality.