Firefighter/law enforcement retirement


Q. I just attended an agency-sponsored retirement class at my office. It was told, by the private contractor, to all the firefighters and law enforcement personnel attending that overtime is calculated as part of your base pay along with locality pay when considering your high-3. Is this true? Can we include the overtime and if so can you please cite where I can find it?

A. No, it isn’t true. Overtime, as such, is not considered to be a part of basic pay when calculating an employee’s high-3. However, firefighters do get credit for a certain portion of their standby pay and certain law enforcement officers may get credit for administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO) or availability pay (LEAP).


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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

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Lemieux on

    I retired as a federal firefighter (081) in 2013 at age 50. I am now 55 and have heard that federal firefighters should start to collect their social security at social securities minimum retirement age due to the fact that they will receive no more monies if they wait than if they collect at social securities minimum retirement age. Is this true? and when does the supplement end?

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