Change from high-3 to high-5


Q: I heard that there is a proposal to change the retirement calculations from your high-3 to your high-5. Is this true and how will it affect my retirement? I am 56 with 38 years and three months of service. I was hoping to retire when I have 41 years and 11 months of service so I could get 80 percent retirement. If they change to the high-5 would I be better off retiring now?

A: A lot of federal employees want to know if it’s true and how it will affect their retirement. While changing the high-3 to a high-5 has been recommended by some, to date no legislation has been introduced to do that. Since my crystal ball is broken, I have no idea what the future may hold. However, I do know that going into panic mode now would be premature.


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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

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