Night shift differential and high-3


Q. Is the average high-3 based on my gross pay including shift differential? The Office of Personnel Management site says yes. However, my employer is taking deductions for pension contributions only on my basic pay. I would get less by this method. I work for Treasury.

A. Night shift differentials are considered to be a part of basic pay if you are a prevailing rate (wage) employee. If you are a GS employee, they aren’t.


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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


  1. Michele Jacquin on

    please answer this question, there are a whole bunch of RNs at the San Diego VA who want to know. Thanks.

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