Calculating high-3


Q: When calculating high-3 for a FERS annuity, which number is used for the calculation – taxable wages or Social Security wages?  Taxable wages do not include TSP contributions.

A: Your high-3 will be calculated using the highest three consecutive years of average base pay. In other words, the total amount subject to retirement contributions before taxable or non-taxable deductions are taken out.


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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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