Leave without pay and high-3


Q. This question concerns the computation for an annuity under FERS. The high-3 method requires computing the three consecutive highest-earning years for computing the annuity payments. What effect does leave without pay (LWOP) have on that method? If you had four months of leave without pay during one of the high-3 years, is the base pay used in the computation or are the actual earnings (accounting for the leave) used in the computation?

A. Because you had fewer than six months of leave without pay, your base pay will be used, not your actual earnings.


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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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