High-3 and Leave Without Pay


Q. The high-3 method for computing an annuity under FERS requires computing the three consecutive highest-earning years for computing the annuity payments. What effect does Leave Without Pay have on this? In other words, if you had four months of LWOP during one of the high-3 years, is the base pay used in the computation or are the actual earnings (accounting for the LWOP) used?

A. As long as you don’t exceed six months of LWOP in a calendar year, your high-3 will be calculated on your base pay, not on the pay you actually received.


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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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