Q. I started at a federal agency in June 2010 as a GS-14. I bought back my military time (10 years).  I was recalled to active duty in the Army in March 2011. I was on active duty, and in a leave-without-pay status, until March 2012. I returned to my agency after completing my service. I may take a GS-12 position closer to home. I’m close to retirement age. If I switch to GS-12 in July, would my high-3 be a mix of GS-14 and GS-12? If I switch to GS-12 in January 2015, would my high-3 be as a GS-14?

A. Your high-3 will be your highest three consecutive years (36 months) of average basic pay, no matter when they occur 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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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