OPM Pay Scale 2020 & 2021

Each year, the OPM (Office of Personnel Management) will submit a legislative proposal related to pay increases of federal workers, how the workers receive them, and several measurements to make the whole policy implementation are going easier. The result of proposed legislation in form of the most updated tables of General Schedule and Locality Pay for the current year is provided on the official site of OPM.

OPM itself is chief of personnel policy manager and human resource agency that works for the federal government. One of its responsibilities is to plan pay scale or salary structure annually – which is a system that regulates the salary or wage of an employee based on their particular circumstances, such as worker rank, level, or status under the employer’s establishment, the length of the employment period, and the level of difficulty of their particular work.

OPM Pay Scale 2020 & 2021

What is the OPM Pay Scale?

OPM issues pay system and classification within General Schedule, to be used as the standard to pay most of the common white-collar Federal workers in various positions, such as technical, clerical, professional, and administrative employees. This organization also administers the standards, qualifications, pay structure, and other relevant policies of human resources, such as policies of pay administration or general staffing. The employers use guidelines and regulations from GS that’s crafted by OPM to classify, pay, or even appoint their employees. Currently, there are about over 1.5 million of these types of employees across the USA.

There are 15 totals of grades, as determined on General Schedule – started from the lowest grade GS-1 all the way to the highest GS-15. Each job grade is classified by OPM as an agency based on the difficulty level, the requirement of qualifications, and the amount of responsibility. For example, someone who’s yet to have experience and acquire a high school diploma is typically categorized on GS-2, someone who has Bachelor’s degree is qualified for GS-5, and someone who’s obtained a Master’s degree is categorized in GS-9.

There are also 10 rates of step within every grade. Every step is worth about 3% of salary. The employees may increase their grades based on longevity and performance level. In general, it would take 18 years to complete progress from step 1 to step 10 in each grade of the OPM pay scale. However, the exception can be made if the employees serve excellent ratings of performance to be considered to increase their steps in an accelerated manner. The maximum increase is set to be one step per year.

Aside from the OPM pay scale above, the employee salary is determined by locality pay as well. What is locality pay? It is a program where the Federal pay (General Schedule) and non-Federal pay are compared for each area of locality pay. In the current year of 2020, there are 53 different areas of locality pay. This program is established by combining various small-scale surveys in the “Rest of U.S.” (RUS) areas conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

As mentioned before, the pay scale is revised annually. It is mended to reflect increased living costs and inflation. The result is issued in the latest days of December and goes effective every January next year.

OPM Pay Scale 2020

For the year 2020, the pay schedule went effective after January 1st of 2020 or at the beginning of the first payroll period accordingly. It also established by adjusting basic pay rates as well as locality payments by The President. The notice is accessible as public documentation record.

Here are the major changes that happened within the 2020 pay scale:

  • Executive administration legitimized the statutory pay system raises as high as 2.6% universally. Meanwhile, the locality pay is raised 0.5% out of the basic payroll. It yields both lower and higher pay across the United States.
  • As a result of the policy increase in the prior point, the overall pay is increased by 3.1% on average. Metropolitan areas such as Washington DC, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, and California received raises between 3.4% and 3.5%. The

The rest of the US such as Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Indianapolis received lower raises between 2.8% to 2.9%

According to where you work, you’d be able to calculate your own raise using the OPM GS pay scale calculator. It is made to be easy to use and available for free. You just have to provide your own data, such as your employee grade, step, and geographic area.

As an alternative, you may simply just read the table provided below to learn about the pay scale. It is identical to the table provided by OPM on the official website as the data is derived from their newest federal employees’ listings. It serves the salary rates of each area according to the general schedule and the average pay-grade.

OPM Pay Scale 2020 Tables

GS Grade Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
GS-1 $19,543 $20,198 $20,848 $21,494 $22,144 $22,524 $23,166 $23,814 $23,840 $24,448
GS-2 $21,974 $22,497 $23,225 $23,840 $24,108 $24,817 $25,526 $26,235 $26,944 $27,653
GS-3 $23,976 $24,775 $25,574 $26,373 $27,172 $27,971 $28,770 $29,569 $30,368 $31,167
GS-4 $26,915 $27,812 $28,709 $29,606 $30,503 $31,400 $32,297 $33,194 $34,091 $34,988
GS-5 $30,113 $31,117 $32,121 $33,125 $34,129 $35,133 $36,137 $37,141 $38,145 $39,149
GS-6 $33,567 $34,686 $35,805 $36,924 $38,043 $39,162 $40,281 $41,400 $42,519 $43,638
GS-7 $37,301 $38,544 $39,787 $41,030 $42,273 $43,516 $44,759 $46,002 $47,245 $48,488
GS-8 $41,310 $42,687 $44,064 $45,441 $46,818 $48,195 $49,572 $50,949 $52,326 $53,703
GS-9 $45,627 $47,148 $48,669 $50,190 $51,711 $53,232 $54,753 $56,274 $57,795 $59,316
GS-10 $50,246 $51,921 $53,596 $55,271 $56,946 $58,621 $60,296 $61,971 $63,646 $65,321
GS-11 $55,204 $57,044 $58,884 $60,724 $62,564 $64,404 $66,244 $68,084 $69,924 $71,764
GS-12 $66,167 $68,373 $70,579 $72,785 $74,991 $77,197 $79,403 $81,609 $83,815 $86,021
GS-13 $78,681 $81,304 $83,927 $86,550 $89,173 $91,796 $94,419 $97,042 $99,665 $102,288
GS-14 $92,977 $96,076 $99,175 $102,274 $105,373 $108,472 $111,571 $114,670 $117,769 $120,868
GS-15 $109,366 $113,012 $116,658 $120,304 $123,950 $127,596 $131,242 $134,888 $138,534 $142,180

OPM Pay Scale 2021

The Payscale of 2021 is yet to be released. However, its proposal was officially submitted by OPM within the fiscal budget justification. It was published as early as February this year. Apparently, it seems like the aims are to slow down the pace of pay raises based on federal employees’ performances – in lieu of swing the funding directly into raising rewards for workers that considered having critical skills according to the government.

Here are some of the changes of the 2021 OPM pay scale that the public has information on so far:

  • Based on the plan of OPM, federal employees are required to wait another year before they are qualified for a grade pay increase in accordance with OPM General Schedule and prevalent pay scale rate.
  • For 2021, the pay raise is proposed to be 1% by The President. However, by examining the current economic circumstances, the raises are predicted to be even lower – or worse, possibly no rise at all.
  • The proposed policy is to implement one additional area of locality pay and extent the existing pay area boundaries as granted by the paying agent of the President last year.

Just like the 2020 OPM pay scale, you are also able to estimate your payroll raise for 2021 by using tables and calculators based on predictions. The predictions are made based on trends from previous years, however, it is worth keeping in mind the recent economic climate of the USA so be prepared to set your expectation at lower settings for next year.

OPM Pay Scale 2021 Tables

GS Grade Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
GS-1 $20,051 $20,723 $21,390 $22,053 $22,720 $23,110 $23,768 $24,433 $24,460 $25,084
GS-2 $22,545 $23,082 $23,829 $24,460 $24,735 $25,462 $26,190 $26,917 $27,645 $28,372
GS-3 $24,599 $25,419 $26,239 $27,059 $27,878 $28,698 $29,518 $30,338 $31,158 $31,977
GS-4 $27,615 $28,535 $29,455 $30,376 $31,296 $32,216 $33,137 $34,057 $34,977 $35,898
GS-5 $30,896 $31,926 $32,956 $33,986 $35,016 $36,046 $37,077 $38,107 $39,137 $40,167
GS-6 $34,440 $35,588 $36,736 $37,884 $39,032 $40,180 $41,328 $42,476 $43,624 $44,773
GS-7 $38,271 $39,546 $40,821 $42,097 $43,372 $44,647 $45,923 $47,198 $48,473 $49,749
GS-8 $42,384 $43,797 $45,210 $46,622 $48,035 $49,448 $50,861 $52,274 $53,686 $55,099
GS-9 $46,813 $48,374 $49,934 $51,495 $53,055 $54,616 $56,177 $57,737 $59,298 $60,858
GS-10 $51,552 $53,271 $54,989 $56,708 $58,427 $60,145 $61,864 $63,582 $65,301 $67,019
GS-11 $56,639 $58,527 $60,415 $62,303 $64,191 $66,079 $67,966 $69,854 $71,742 $73,630
GS-12 $67,887 $70,151 $72,414 $74,677 $76,941 $79,204 $81,467 $83,731 $85,994 $88,258
GS-13 $80,727 $83,418 $86,109 $88,800 $91,491 $94,183 $96,874 $99,565 $102,256 $104,947
GS-14 $95,394 $98,574 $101,754 $104,933 $108,113 $111,292 $114,472 $117,651 $120,831 $124,011
GS-15 $112,210 $115,950 $119,691 $123,432 $127,173 $130,913 $134,654 $138,395 $142,136 $145,877