Pay cap and high-3


Q. I count myself as a fortunate GS-15 law enforcement officer who is hit with an over-earn limit every pay period. Although a portion of my salary is held back and not paid to me, is the entire amount still counted as part of my high-3?

A. Your high-3 will be based on the amount of pay from which retirement deductions are taken. It does not include any pay which you would have received but for the pay cap.


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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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