High-3 and promotions


Q. The Office of Personnel Management website describes the federal high-3 salary as the average of three consecutive years of an employee’s base (gross) salary (consecutive years but not necessarily calendar years). Is this high-3 calculated for only within one GS level? (e.g. GS-11), or can it be calculated using more than one GS level? (e.g. GS-10 for one year and GS-11 for two years)?

A. It’s calculated using the actual basic pay you receive during three consecutive years (78 biweekly pay periods). As such, it mirrors any and all changes in that basic pay, for example, because of promotions or step increases.


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.

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