Q. Is the high-3 monthly retirement annuity based on Block 20 of the SF-50?

A. A high-3 is based on the average of the highest three consecutive years (78 biweekly pay periods) of basic pay, the amount from which retirement deductions are taken. Since the Standard Form 50 is used to record each and every personnel actions, it isn’t a reliable source of information about an employee’s high-3. That’s because the Block 20 may include types of pay that aren’t considered to be a part of basic pay.


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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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