Sequestration and high-3


Q. I am a Defense Department employee with 39 years of service under CSRS.

How will sequestration, specifically the potential for 20 percent reduction in pay, affect calculation of my high-3? Will it be based on my salary per the GS tables or actual pay? If it is on actual pay, it seems as though it would be better for me to retire now rather than later.

A. It’s based on actual basic pay received. Whether you should retire now or later is a decision you’ll have to make. You might want to stick around and see what happens. If nothing else, you can make a more rational decision about when to retire.


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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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