Q. I am a 35-year CSRS employee in Kabul, Afghanistan [temporary change of station]. My organization approved a negotiated salary that increased my annual pay from $107,000 [GS-13, Step 7] to $115,000 [GS-13, Step 10].

My SF-50 for the change is dated Nov. 18. I am considering retiring Sept. 1, a little more than nine months past the SF-50 date but less than one full year. I am seeking a high-3 calculation of $107,000 + $107,000 + $115,000.

Will I receive full [or 75 percent]credit for the nine-month period as a GS-13, Step 10? Or must I remain in service for an additional three months to get the full “Step 10” credit?

A. I don’t do arithmetic problems. You’ll have to do it yourself using this simple guideline: To find your high-3, add the gross basic pay you earned for the 78 consecutive pay periods before you retire and divide the total by 78.


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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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