Q. I worked in Saudi Arabia as an Army civil servant from 2012-2016. I now work in the U.S. at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton where I receive locality pay. If I work here for two years, how is my retirement pay under FERS (42 years of service) computed? What if I spend one year overseas (no locality pay) and two years stateside (with locality pay) — do I get the average of the three years?

A. Yes. Your annuity will be based on the average of your highest three consecutive years of basic pay, which includes locality pay.


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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. @Karen, original post just says he has 42 years under FERS (and either bought back military time as described above or was CSRS and transferred to FERS). The requirements to retire under FERS are the same as always:

    Age 62, 5 years of service
    Age 60, 20 years of service
    Minimum Retirement Age (56 or 57), 30 years
    Minimum Retirement Age (56 or 57), 10 years (penalty of 5 percent a year for each year under age 62)

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