Q. I represent an employee who retired with more than 42 years of service.  At one point, this employee was a WG-11. He was severely injured on the job and went under Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. It paid his wages for a period of time. At a later date the facility created a “light duty position” around his permanent disability.  The position was set at a GS-4. This employee held this job for more than five years. Prior to his accepting this position, the facility coordinated with OWCP for it to continue to pay the “wage loss,” which was the difference between the WG-11 and the GS-4 pay. When he retired, he was told that his retirement was based on the GS-4 and that the amount continued to be paid by OWCP “wage loss” was not counted as remuneration, however, his time on OWCP all counted for time as a federal employee. The facility, by law reimburses OWCP for the amount it pays for “wage loss.”

Why would the federal government return this employee as a benefit to the government and then basically hold it against the employee for being injured on the job by not counting all his remuneration for retirement purposes.


A. You appear to misunderstand how annuities are calculated. An annuity isn’t based on the number of years an employee spends at a particular grade level. It’s based on a formula that uses his length of service and his highest three consecutive years of average salary, no matter where they occurred in his career. Here’s the formula:

0.0175 x high-3 x 5 years of service, plus

0.015 x his high-3 x 5 years of service, plus

0.02 x his high-3 x all remaining years and full months of service

His annuity would then be the sum of these three calculation.


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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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