Downgrade and high-3


Q. I took a downgrade when I moved to another state. My high-3 was at a GS-9 Step 6 in 2006. Will my high-3 calculation be based on what I made for three consecutive years at the salary I was getting in 2006, or will it be based on GS-9 Step 6 the year I retire? In other words, will the cost-of-living raises be included in the retirement calculation?

A. Your high-3 will be based on your highest three consecutive years of average pay, regardless of when that occurs in your career.


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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

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