Author Reg Jones

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

Q. What impact does USERRA have on the high-3 calculation? For instance, please consider a hypothetical situation in which a civilian employee/military reservist earned annual income from his civilian federal agency of $96,000 one year, then $98,000 the next and then is making $100,000 when called to active duty at the end of the next year. He is activated for two years, during which time the GS scale gets annual 3 percent increases across the board. He comes back and works a final year, pays his military deposit, then retires after another 3 percent increase gives him an entire year…

Q. My husband is a retired civil service employee. His first wife died before he retired. he then married me after 8 years of being a widower. Am I entitled to a survivor benefits if (God forbids) he dies first? He said I am only entitled to whatever is left from the money he had contributed while working as federal employee, and he said I will not receive any money from his retirement pension. In order for me to receive his retirement pension, he would have had to pay the government $750 dollars a month. How is this so?

Q. As I understand it, when a retiree’s spouse dies, the retiree needs to notify the Office of Personnel Management. Is the increase in the retiree’s annuity effective at the time of that notice, or is it back-dated to the date of death?

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