Q. I am nearing 41 years and 10 months of CSRS service. I plan to continue working for another six years. I have been told that no service beyond 41-10 will count toward my high-3. If that is correct, it seems unfair, especially given zero raises in the past three years.

A. By law, the earned annuities of CSRS employees can’t exceed 80 percent of their highest three consecutive years of average basic pay. If you work beyond 41 years and 10 months, retirement contributions continue to be taken out of your pay. When you retire, the Office of Personnel Management will offer you the option of having your excess contributions returned to you or using the money to purchase additional annuity that, like unused sick leave, isn’t subject to the 80 percent limit.


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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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