Comparison of Federal and Private Sector Pay and Benefits

GGD-85-72 Published: Sep 04, 1985. Publicly Released: Sep 04, 1985.
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided current information on private sector and federal white-collar employee compensation packages. By law, federal employees' salaries are set at a level equitable and comparable with similar levels of work in the private sector, unless the President proposes alternative federal pay rates. There is no such requirement for benefits comparability. GAO analyzed several pay and benefits comparability studies conducted by private and federal organizations, but did not independently validate the data contained in the studies.

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Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
In considering future changes and adjustments to elements of the federal compensation program, Congress may wish to make such decisions from the perspective of their effect on overall compensation levels. If such an approach is deemed appropriate, a mechanism for periodically measuring and assessing benefit program comparability will be necessary to complement the pay comparability process already required by law.
Closed – Not Implemented
Total compensation issues were discussed at the September 9, 1985, hearings on a new retirement system, but Congress took no action on this recommendation.

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