Q. I worked for a member of Congress for a little more than six years ending 12 years ago. Because he lost the next election, I became vested and eligible to receive a small pension but no health insurance (less than 10 years of service). Although I am over 62, I have never requested of collected any retirement benefits. Now I have an opportunity to go back to work for a federal agency at the GS-15 level. I assume that the benefits and time would be additive in some way, but how long would I have to work for my high-3 to be based on the higher salary? I have heard it could take five years. At what point would the retirement health insurance be locked in?
A. Your high-3 is always the highest three consecutive years of average salary. Because you are already 62 and can retire with as little as five years of service, which you already have, you would only need to work for three years to establish a new, higher high-3.