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Compensation and Leave

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Differential Pay



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Within Grade Pay Increases for GS Employees

Your Pay Step…
Within each grade level, there are 10 steps or levels. Pay increases associated with step increases are intended to recognize experience and longevity in your position. The average step increase is roughly equivalent to 3 percent of your basic salary. If your performance is rated as satisfactory or "pass", you will be granted within-grade step increases in pay at the following intervals:

  • Steps 1 through 4 occur at one-year intervals.
  • Steps 5 through 7 occur at two-year intervals.
  • Steps 8 through 10 occur at three-year intervals.

Note:  If you have periods of leave without pay (LWOP), it may delay the effective date of your next Within Grade Increase.
If you are promoted to the next higher grade…
If you are promoted to the next higher grade, you will receive an increase of at least as much as two steps at your current grade. For example, if you are a GS-6 step 5 on the general schedule and you are promoted to the GS-7, your new salary on the GS-7 scale must meet or exceed the pay of a GS-6 step 7 on the general schedule. In this example, using existing salary tables, you would advance to the GS-7 step 4 pay level.