Q. I’ve been in FERS for 26 years. I’m waiting for an early-out, but if that doesn’t happen I was thinking of bidding on a part-time or nontraditional job with fewer than 40 hours a week. How would this affect my retirement based on the high-3 average used to calculate annuity? My minimum retirement age is 56, so in 2014 I will have 28.7 years. Will I be penalized if I retire then? Will it be 5 percent for every year under 62?
A. Your high-3 will be based on the average annual rate of basic pay during your highest three consecutive years of earnings, no matter when they occur in your career nor whether you are full or part time. To learn how your annuity would be calculated if you went part time, go to www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/C055.pdf and scroll down to Subchapter 55B. If you retire before you have 30 years of service, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent (5/12 percent per month that you are under age 60).