Federal employee pay raises are determined by Congress on a yearly basis, so there is no set amount of time in which federal employees are guaranteed a pay raise. Federal employees received a raise in five of the eight years from 2008 to 2015.
Except for those three years with no raises, the pay raises for federal employees ranged from 1 to 2.9 percent from 2008 to 2015. If Congress approves a pay raise for federal employees, that pay raise takes effect on January 1 of the following year. If Congress does not pass a budget bill, federal employees can still receive a pay raise through presidential executive order.