Reduced hours and high-3


Q. I am a full-time Postal Service employee covered under CSRS. I have more than 30 years of service (active Postal Service + military buyback). I am still too young to retire, and will probably work another seven to 10 years. Recently, I changed to a nontraditional full-time position (NTFT) of 35 hours per week. Can you tell me how this reduction in weekly hours will effect the calculation of my high-3 in regards to my retirement? How far out from my retirement date would I need to change back to a full-time (40 hours per week) position to regain any benefit lost by the reduced hourly position?

A. Changing back from part-time to full-time won’t change anything. When you retire, you’ll get full-time credit for your part-time service in determining your total years of service; however, that period of part-time service will be prorated when your annuity is computed. To see how that’s done, go to and scroll to the FERS section. Although you are a CSRS, employee, a recent court case invalidated the method used in that section.


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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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