The following is a question submitted by a reader to Federal Times columnist Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and the resident expert on federal employee retirement issues.

A Fed Times reader asks:

“I am a former federal career employee. I left after 25 years of federal service, all career/career conditional service. I did not withdraw my contributions. My original plan was to submit for retirement at age 60. I am currently 54. My highest earnings averaged about 100,000.

I have been referred for a three-year term position that has a starting pay between $150,000-200,000. If I take that job and elect to contribute to FERS, 1) will this term time count towards my annuity calculation (25 + 3 = 28%)? 2) will the higher salary increase the amount of retirement that my calculation is based off of?”

Reg’s response:

If you accept a position from which retirement deductions are taken and meet the age and service requirements to retire, your annuity will be based on the average of your three highest consecutive years of basic pay, regardless of when they occurred in your career.

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to:

Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is our resident expert on retirement and the federal government. From 1979 to '95, he served as an assistant director of the Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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