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Relocating

Are you considering relocating your federal career - either by your choice or by Uncle Sam? There are practical issues and concerns to think about when deciding whether or not to relocate. Others have done it while still others have not. This forum will allow for all to offer their insight, post their questions, and help each other out.

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strider338  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, February 08, 2012 3:12:02 AM(UTC)
strider338

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I am a GS 13 considering a position in Germany. Can I keep my current salary (which is adjusted for Philadelphia) and have the steps adjusted to reflect my current salary (on the "rest of US" locality pay scale when I transfer ?  Is pay retention negotiable ? Anyone experienc ethis ? Thanks in advance 
simchief  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, February 08, 2012 3:46:11 AM(UTC)
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As there are too many variables to your situation; we (Forum Members) collectively, need more information:

Such as:

Location of position in Germany?
 

Are you a GS-13 on retained pay?

Are you a GS-13 on saved pay?

Are you a GS-13 wanting to go to another GS-13 position?

Is target position a lower grade?

Are you on retained pay as the result of NSPS->GS?

Is target position same series?

Please provide more information. So we can provide our collective comments.

I'll be shoveling along: <br />Digger O'Dell
strider338  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, February 08, 2012 3:58:51 AM(UTC)
strider338

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Whoops..Thanks
I am a GS 13 step 4 in philadelphia in a 0343 position not on saved pay, not on retained pay (hopefully) going to  GS 13 same (or very similar series 0301) in Stuttgart Germany   
simchief  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, February 08, 2012 4:05:33 AM(UTC)
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Some things to consider:

CONUS employees usually receive pay based on actual locality, in your case Philadelphia, the rate table includes base salary (grade and step) plus locality pay which equal your total salary; these are published as a pay table. Overtime is a separate issue and added to your pay.

OCONUS employees receive:

Base civil service salary (grade and step); you do not ‘get’ locality adjustment.

Living Quarters Allowance (LQA), based on location, grade and number of family members. LQA is tax free and reimburses cost of your lodging on a dollar-for dollar basis; you do not make any money.

Post Allowance (PA), based on location, and is subject to change. PA is tax free; most of Germany PA is 30% of base salary.

I'll be shoveling along: <br />Digger O'Dell
simchief  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, February 08, 2012 4:24:41 AM(UTC)
simchief

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Okay now we have some figures to work with:

You are currently making $96,020 on Philly pay table as GS-13/4, includes locality pay.

In Germany you would make GS-13/4 base of $78,841; plus PA of 30% or around $102,493; you would have nearly zero lodging costs, such as rent, electricity, gas, oil, water, and such.

You can take advantage of military hospitals, commissaries, and post exchanges.

If you have ties to a state; you would have to pay state taxes, if required.

If you are highly qualified you might ask for GS-13/5.

Your expenses for travel and shipping will be paid.

Normally you will be restricted to initial three-year tour, plus management might offer another two-year extension.

I'll be shoveling along: <br />Digger O'Dell
Knight  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, February 08, 2012 4:34:04 AM(UTC)
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The base pay is the only thing that is set is stone (GS 13/4 is $78841). If you were to leave Philly ($96020) and come to the midwest (RUS for most of us - $90005) your pay would go down in dollar amount and still be a 13/4. But then moving out here the cost of living should be better and it balances out.
 
Now for Germany, your dollar amount will probably go up due to the various extras. Don't get to used to it because when you come back, you come back to base pay (13/5 or 6 maybe) and what ever the locality pay is.
simchief  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, February 08, 2012 4:41:05 AM(UTC)
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Other considerations; you will need around $3500 pocket money to help with temporary lodging and initially transition to a German apartment. You can ask for an advance aginst your salary, must be paid back within 26 pay periods.

Your total pay for your high-three retirement will include base salary, but not Post Allowance 0r LQA, so if you are going to retire, make sure you finish last years of your career in CONUS where locality is included in retirement formula.

 

Stuttgart is a great city and duty location.

simchief2012-02-08 12:53:15
I'll be shoveling along: <br />Digger O'Dell
Fed1969  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, February 08, 2012 6:46:40 AM(UTC)
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strider338 wrote:
I am a GS 13 considering a position in Germany. Can I keep my current salary (which is adjusted for Philadelphia) and have the steps adjusted to reflect my current salary (on the "rest of US" locality pay scale when I transfer ?  Is pay retention negotiable ? Anyone experienc ethis ? Thanks in advance 

I suggest you ask the HR office if Philadelphia.

I think you will probably get the same step with the Philadelphia locality pay.
RetirednHappy  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, February 08, 2012 7:06:01 AM(UTC)
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When you go from a job that has high locality pay to one with low or no locality pay, including going to an overseas position, your basic pay goes down. It is as simple as that. The employee must take that into consideration when they apply for or accept such positions in those locations. Retaining their current pay rate in those situations is NOT part of the equation. (There are some offsetting possibilities with overseas assignments, as mentioned above, that also should be considered).  Good luck!
simchief  
#10 Posted : Thursday, February 09, 2012 1:19:52 AM(UTC)
simchief

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strider338; I am hearing only an echo, you asked your questions, forum commented, now how about an update, that is how these blogs work.

 

Are you considering applying for position in Germany?

Did you get enough information to make a decision?

 

Feedback please!

I'll be shoveling along: <br />Digger O'Dell
goicuon  
#11 Posted : Thursday, April 05, 2012 10:45:08 AM(UTC)
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Do the math:
$76,452 GS 13 step 3 base rate of pay

$12, 700 LQA for Mayen Germany (lowest rate I noticed in the Germany table, but it varies a LOT - maybe $50K depending on your location and family situation)

$26,402  Post allowance 35% (also for Mayen) (lowest I saw for Germany was 30%)

$115,460 total compensation package

But keep in mind that the LQA and post allowance is non-taxable income.

Losing that 21.7% taxable locality pay doesn't look so bad when you are going to pick up 35% post allowance that is non-taxable, does it?



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