Government Shutdown Information

The government entered a partial shutdown at midnight on December 21, 2018 due to a lapse in appropriations for several government agencies, including State, USAID, Commerce and Agriculture. Congress must pass a new spending bill or agree to a Continuing Resolution for the government to open for business again. On January 3, the House passed a spending package with six full-year appropriations bills, including State/USAID, and a short-term continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security through February 8, 2019. The Senate has refused to consider the spending package, which the White House has said it will veto should it pass the Senate. In order to meet normal deadlines for processing payroll in time to meet the next payday on January 17, AFSA understands that funds need to be appropriated by Friday, January 11. The bill that funds operations at State and USAID passed the Senate Appropriations Committee in June by a 31-0 vote, but the State and Foreign Operations bill has not yet gone before the full Senate. We at AFSA hope that this bill, which restores funding lost in the cuts to OCO and increases funding for overseas programs, does eventually get signed into law. If that does not happen by the end of the week, however, some members of the Foreign Service (including some members who have been required to report to work) may not receive a paycheck on January 17. As a first step to preparing for that difficult possibility, members are encouraged to read the new Furlough Handbook to review options for coping with any financial hardship.

If you have been unable to access the Daily Media Digest during the shutdown, click here to access archived versions.

Shutdown Q&A

Q. Will my Foreign Service annuity continue to be paid during the partial Government shutdown?

A. Yes - Foreign Service annuitants will continue to receive their monthly annuity payment. The January 2, 2019 annuity payments, including the 2019 cost of living adjustment (COLA), have been processed, and the February 1 annuity payments will be processed, as scheduled, regardless of the length of any lapse in appropriations impacting the Department of State.

Q. Is furlough time creditable towards retirement?

A. Yes. Furlough time is creditable toward retirement. An employee is allowed service credit for up to six months of nonpay status in any calendar year.

Q. How does being furloughed affect my high-3 salary calculation?

A. The high-3 salary calculation is based on an employee’s rate of basic pay, not on actual salary received. If a period of nonpay status (such as a furlough) that is creditable for retirement occurs during the 3-year period used to compute the high-3 average salary, the loss of actual pay during that nonpay status period generally would have no effect on the high-3 computation.

Q. I am in training and participate in the PCS Lodging Program. (My lodging costs are billed directly to the Department.) Will the shutdown affect this program?

A. No, the PCS Lodging Program is not affected by the shutdown.

Guidance from the Foreign Affairs and Other Agencies




  • Planning for a Potential Lapse in Appropriations (TBA)





White House/OMB

Key Information

From the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

Other Key Information

CRS Reports on Government Shutdowns

Useful Information from the Media

Other Related Information

This page was last updated on 1/22/19.