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teej  
#1 Posted : Sunday, January 10, 2021 11:36:20 AM(UTC)
teej

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I currently work in an area that has a higher locality differential. If i were to take another position elsewhere where the locality is less, are they to match my current pay to whatever the corresponding step is in the new location?

Simple example (not real $),

Currently $100k, GS13 Step 2

New position/area $90k, GS 13 Step 2

New position/area $100k, GS 13 Step 4

Would the new position offer the position as GS13 Step 4 to keep my High-3 in play?

Or what if the new position is a promotion to a GS14 Step 1 and it's still lower than my current GS13 Step 2 is, would they offer the GS14 at a step near my current pay?

Thanks.



someoldguy  
#2 Posted : Sunday, January 10, 2021 3:10:49 PM(UTC)
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Here is what I found out: there is no provision for matching you pay just because you are switching locality areas. Even if you get a promotion, they will first convert your current salary to the new locality area and then apply the two-step rule (somebody posted that on these forums and I was able to find the relevant info on opm.gov to verify).

That's not to say you could not try to negotiate something. Some places will negotiate but it seems like most will not.
DISCLAIMER: You read it on an open internet forum :)
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teej on 1/11/2021(UTC)
MovinUp  
#3 Posted : Sunday, January 10, 2021 3:46:36 PM(UTC)
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The way I remember it, for promotions you go back to the basic pay GS schedule (no locality pay) to figure out where you land after applying the two-step rule (starting at your current grade/step). Then you go to your new locality GS pay scale and read the pay at that step.

I don't think that you can skip the waiting time to advance steps by moving, but perhaps if they really want you...

Generally it pays to retire from a high locality area.
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teej on 1/11/2021(UTC)
someoldguy  
#4 Posted : Sunday, January 10, 2021 3:54:36 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: MovinUp Go to Quoted Post
Generally it pays to retire from a high locality area.
Agreed. Or at least the highest locality pay area that you can possibly stand :)

DISCLAIMER: You read it on an open internet forum :)
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teej on 1/11/2021(UTC)
frankgonzalez  
#5 Posted : Monday, January 11, 2021 3:48:51 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: teej Go to Quoted Post
I currently work in an area that has a higher locality differential. If i were to take another position elsewhere where the locality is less, are they to match my current pay to whatever the corresponding step is in the new location?

Simple example (not real $),

Currently $100k, GS13 Step 2

New position/area $90k, GS 13 Step 2

New position/area $100k, GS 13 Step 4

Would the new position offer the position as GS13 Step 4 to keep my High-3 in play?

Or what if the new position is a promotion to a GS14 Step 1 and it's still lower than my current GS13 Step 2 is, would they offer the GS14 at a step near my current pay?

Thanks.



As already pointed out...No. You will not gain any steps by moving to a lower locality pay area. Your grade/step would remain the same (for a lateral move), and a promotion is handled the same way as if you were remaining in the same area (ie go up 2 steps, see where you land pay wise, then see where that falls in the new higher grade). You can use the base table, the current locality or the new locality...comes out the same result each time.

The usual advantage of moving to a lower locality area is the cost of living is lower and so your money goes further. In some cases, the state taxes are lower (or non-existent) and so your take home is higher as a result.

The same is true if you take an overseas assignment where most (but apparently not all) positions only pay you the base table with no locality pay, but you also receive LQA, COLA, etc which more than makes up for the loss in locality pay resulting in higher expendable cash (as you don't have any housing costs to pay for from your salary).



You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
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teej on 1/11/2021(UTC)
teej  
#6 Posted : Monday, January 11, 2021 10:29:01 AM(UTC)
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As already pointed out...No. You will not gain any steps by moving to a lower locality pay area. Your grade/step would remain the same (for a lateral move), and a promotion is handled the same way as if you were remaining in the same area (ie go up 2 steps, see where you land pay wise, then see where that falls in the new higher grade). You can use the base table, the current locality or the new locality...comes out the same result each time.

The usual advantage of moving to a lower locality area is the cost of living is lower and so your money goes further. In some cases, the state taxes are lower (or non-existent) and so your take home is higher as a result.

The same is true if you take an overseas assignment where most (but apparently not all) positions only pay you the base table with no locality pay, but you also receive LQA, COLA, etc which more than makes up for the loss in locality pay resulting in higher expendable cash (as you don't have any housing costs to pay for from your salary).



Thanks. That makes sense and OCONUS pay was going to be my follow up question that using the base pay as the baseline is accurate as nothing else counts towards retirement.
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