High-3 calculation and leave without pay


Q. I am a Postal Service employee under CSRS. I am planning on taking the incentive and retiring Jan. 31, which will give a total of 34 years and nine months of service including sick leave. I have used approximately 3,700 hours of leave without pay over my entire career with the maximum used in one year being 408.46 hours and the minimum being zero.

1. It is my understanding that any LWOP used during that time, as long as it does not exceed six months in any year, will not affect my length of service used to determine my retirement annuity. Am I correct?

2. My base pay for the past three years — 2010, 2011, 2012 — is the same: $53,102. During each of these years, I have used some LWOP time: 178.51 hours for 2010, 71.8 hours for 2011, and 115 hours for 2012. Will the dollar amount used for my high-3 be my base pay of $53,102 for those three years, or will my base pay amount be reduced by the amount of LWOP I have used in each of those years. For example, will my base pay for 2012 be reduced by 115 hours of LWOP times my hourly rate for a total of approximately $3,000? Or will my base pay of $53,102 be used?

A. Being on leave without pay for less that six months in a calendar year won’t affect your years of service, nor will it affect the high-3 used in the computation of your annuity.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

Leave A Reply