FERS high-3


Q: Is there a time limit on when you have to hold that salary rate for it to be counted for a good year? Here is an example: If I get awarded a QSI (quality step increase) in the month of October and hold that rate for three months before my next step goes into affect in January, will that rate I received in October for three months be counted as a good high-3 figure?

A: Your question is based on a false premise. A high-3 is calculated by adding up the base salary you received for each pay period during your highest three consecutive years and dividing it by the number of pay periods. Most employees are paid every two weeks, which means that the cumulative base pay they receive over a three year period would be divided by 78 (3 x 26 pay periods.)


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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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