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May Human Resources Advisor Volume 2, Issue 5

Periodic Step Increases or Sometimes called Within-Grade-Increase

Within-grade increases (WGIs) or step increases are periodic increases in a General Schedule (GS) employee’s rate of basic pay. Title 5, U.S. Code, authorizes within-grade step increases after waiting periods at various grades provided that an employee has demonstrated an acceptable level of competence. An employee who has not reached the highest step for a particular position is generally advanced to the next step following completion of the required waiting period if the employee’s rating of record for the most recently completed appraisal period is at least Fully Successful or equivalent, and also if no equivalent increase was received during the waiting period. The required waiting periods are as follows:

From Step To Step Weeks
1 2 52
2 3 52
3 4 52
4 5 104
5 6 104
6 7 104
7 8 156
8 9 156
9 10 156