High 3 and your annuity


Q. I am a 61-year-old CSRS employee. I have 41 years and five months of federal service. If I decide to retire on Dec. 31, I will have 1,200 hours or more of unused sick leave. My high 3 is $104, 992. Will I meet the 80 percent limit? Also what is the most or least I can give for spousal annuity?

A. You are referring to the limit that says when you retire, your earned annuity — excluding any unused sick leave — can’t exceed 80 percent of your high-3. To reach the 80 percent limit, you’d have to have worked for 41 years and 11 months. So you won’t have exceeded the limit. As far as the amount of survivor annuity you can elect, as a CSRS employee, that can be as little as $1. However, any election that is for less than a full survivor annuity must be agreed to in writing by your spouse.


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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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