Locality pay


Q: I understand that my FERS law enforcement retirement annuity will be determined by my consecutive high-3. How long do I have to work in a high locality pay area before I am eligible to receive that locality pay during my retirement? For example if I am a GS-13/Step 10 in a “Rest of US” locality pay area for two years, transfer to high locality pay area such as San Francisco (N/CA) as a GS-13/Step 10 for one year and then retire, will my high-3 be calculated as three years as a GS-13/Step 10 from the high locality pay area or will it instead be calculated as two years as a GS-13/Step 10 from a “Rest of US” area and one year as a GS-13/Step 10 from the high locality pay area? Does locality pay even come into the picture when determining retirement annuities or are annuities based solely on high three salaries regardless of locality pay involved?

A: Your annuity will be based on your highest three consecutive years of average basic pay, which includes locality pay.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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