Q. 2011+2012+2013 equates to three years of the unchanged salary for federal employees. For many of us, then, salary during that period would be considered when calculating the high-3 average assuming those are the highest. Recently, I asked human resources for a copy of my 2013 pay scale and was told because the budget has not been approved, there is no 2013 pay scale, that we are operating on a continuation of the 2012 pay scale. If that’s true, for a person retiring this year, assuming these are the highest salaries of consecutive years of service, will current salary (2013) be used as one of the three salaries in the equation, or will the equation be based on the average of 2010+2011+2012/13 salaries?

A. A high-3 is computed using the highest three consecutive years (78 pay periods) of average basic pay received, not on the published pay schedules.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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