High-3 for seasonal employees


Q. I’m a PSE 13/13 for the Forest Service, and I’m wondering if anybody knows how they calculate your high-3 years of salary when you don’t work all 26 pay periods. I talked with a few folks at Albuquerque Service Center, and they told me my retirement would be based on what my yearly salary would be if I worked year-round (even though they understand that I only work part of the year). I assumed it would have to be prorated somehow. Say for example on paper my yearly salary for 26 pay periods is $40,000 but I only work 13 pay periods netting $20,000. I would assume that my basic annuity calculation would be:

1% of high avg. 3 years x creditable years of service

.01 x 20,000 x 30 years of service = $6,000/year and not

.01 x 40,000 x 30 years of service = $12,000/year

A. You’ll find the rules for calculating annuities for part-time workers in Subchapter B at www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/C055.pdf.


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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