40 percent of high-3?


Q. My husband and I are currently in Federal Employees Retirement System interim disability status as our claims have not been finalized. Social Security has denied us both. We do not understand what happens when our claim is finalized. Do we both only get 40 percent of our high-3, even though we will not have Social Security to supplement our income? I have 23 years at a high-3 of $78,000 and my husband has 14 years at a $55,000 high-3. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

A. Because you weren’t approved for Social Security disability benefits, for the first 12 months, you’ll each receive 60 percent of your highest three consecutive years of average salary (your high-3). After the first year and until you reach age 62, you’ll receive 40 percent of your high-3. At age 62, your annuity will be recomputed as though you had continued working until age 62. This assumes that neither of you has recovered from your disability.


About Author

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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