The White House has said the freeze will save $5 billion by the end of 2012, $28 billion over the next five years, and more than $60 billion over the next 10 years. (Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images)
President Obama signed an executive order Wednesday implementing a two-year pay scale freeze in 2011 and 2012 for executive branch employees.
The freeze, which Congress approved as part of the continuing resolution funding agencies at 2010 levels through March 4, cancels cost-of-living adjustments for employees under the General Schedule and similar pay systems, although already-scheduled step increases will still be awarded. It also freezes base salary increases for senior executives and senior-level employees, including performance-based increases.
"Despite the sacrifices that I knew a pay freeze would entail for our dedicated civil servants, I concluded that a two-year freeze in the upward statutory adjustment of pay schedules is a necessary first step in our effort to address the challenge of our fiscal reality," Obama said in a memo accompanying the order.
The White House has said the freeze will save $5 billion by the end of 2012, $28 billion over the next five years, and more than $60 billion over the next 10 years.
The Office of Personnel Management will issue guidance on how agencies should carry out the memo, Obama said.