President Obama last week notified Congress he has determined that federal civilian employees should receive a 1.3 percent pay raise in 2016. This is the same civilian pay raise the president included in the FY2016 federal budget request.

The 1.3 percent pay raise is a combination of a 1.0 percent across-the-board raise announced in last week’s letter and an increase in locality pay raise the president said he will request later this year. “The alternative plan for locality payments will be limited so that the total combined cost of the 1.0 percent across-the-board pay increase and the varying locality pay increase will be 1.3 percent of basic payroll,” the president said in his letter.

This marks a departure from recent civilian pay raise proposals, which have been solely across-the-board increases to base pay. Locality pay has not changed since 2010.

Each year the president is required under Title 5 U.S.C., sections 5303(b) and 5304a, to present an alternative pay plan for across-the-board pay and locality pay adjustments. Unless Congress acts the president’s alternative proposal automatically goes into effect.

In a separate letter to Congress, the president determined that members of the uniformed services should also receive a 1.3 percent pay raise in 2016. The president had proposed a 1.3 percent military pay raise in his FY2016 budget request.

The president’s proposals for federal civilian and military personnel pay raises would go into effect on January 1, 2016, unless Congress acts to change the raises.

To date, Congress has not acted on the FY2016 civilian pay raise proposal increasing the probability that the president’s alternative 1.3 percent total pay raise will go into effect on January 1, 2016.

For military pay raises, the House has approved a 2.3 percent increase for military personnel in its version of the FY2016 Defense Authorization bill, while the Senate approved a 1.3 percent military raise in its defense authorization bill.