“I am a police officer at Naval District Washington. Our department recently changed over to the GS 787 Special Rate Payscale. Will our department be able to retire under this 787 pay scale which includes our base pay and locality pay? Will the 787 Payscale still count your High-3 salaries while working under this scale? Is there anyway that our department can stop or withdraw from the 787 once our manpower has increased?”
Special salary rates are considered to be a part of basic pay, so your annuity will be based on the average of your highest three consecutive years of basic pay, your high-3. However, even if your agency cancelled the special rate authority because it was no longer needed, your salary would continue to be paid at the rate you were receiving when the changeover occurred, increased by any step increases to which you were later entitled.
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Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is the resident expert on retirement and the federal government at Federal Times. From 1979 until 1995, he served as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.