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Pentagon plans for five years of reduced raises for civilian employees

Jan. 26, 2012 - 06:00AM   |  
By STEPHEN LOSEY   |   Comments
According to a document unveiled Jan. 26 by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, DoD plans to save $60 billion between fiscal 2013 and 2017 by cutting "excess overhead, operations expenses and personnel costs." Part of that will come from "reductions in planned civilian pay raises."
According to a document unveiled Jan. 26 by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, DoD plans to save $60 billion between fiscal 2013 and 2017 by cutting "excess overhead, operations expenses and personnel costs." Part of that will come from "reductions in planned civilian pay raises." (Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Image)

The Defense Department is planning for smaller pay raises for its civilian employees through fiscal 2017 and that doesn't bode well for the rest of the federal workforce.

According to a budget document Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will formally unveil this afternoon and obtained by Federal Times, Defense plans to save $60 billion between fiscal 2013 and 2017 by cutting "excess overhead, operations expenses and personnel costs." Part of that will come from "reductions in planned civilian pay raises."

The Obama administration is planning to propose a 0.5 percent pay raise for all civilian employees in 2013, which would be the smallest raise in the General Schedule's history. But the Pentagon's plan suggests that paltry raises for all federal civilians will continue over the next five years. It would be impossible under current law to give Defense employees a different GS raise than non-Defense GS employees.

Office of Management and Budget spokeswoman Moira Mack said in an email that despite the Pentagon's stated assumptions, nothing has been decided on future pay raises.

The budget document, http://apps.federaltimes.com/projects/files/defense-priorities-and-choices.pdf">"Defense Priorities and Choices," also says that the Pentagon is planning to give uniformed service members their full pay raises in 2013 and 2014, although it expects lower pay raises beginning in 2015. This would effectively scrap the concept of pay parity, or giving federal employees the same pay raise as service members, for at least two years.

Panetta's plan seeks to cut about $487 billion from the Defense budget over the next decade, as called for by last year's Budget Control Act.

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