Temporary promotions and high-3


Q. I am a GS-12 Step 10 and applied for a temporary promotion GS-14 (as I had been a GS-14 many years ago and took a 14-year break in service); it was posted as NTE 1-4 years. If after three or more years they do not make the position (six of them) permanent, and I have to return to my GS-12 Step 10 position, do the three years count as my high-3? I want to retire in five years and the high-3 is a big deciding factor.

A. Your high-3 will be based on your highest three consecutive years of basic pay, no matter when they occur in your career.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.


  1. In addition to Mr Jones’ reply, the high three for GS employees also includes such things as; locality pay, within grade increases, special pay rates established for recruiting and retention purposes, and certain types of premium pay (largely affecting firefighters and LEO’s).

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