“I was FERS from 1992-2001 as a GS 7. I did some active duty time then came back to federal service in 2022 as a GS 13, and repurchased my military time to give me 23 years of creditable FERS service for retirement. I will be 59 in 2024. My original plan was to complete 3 full years and retire at 60. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can make it that long due to health and would like to retire after two years in this new position in 2024. My concern if my most recent time does not add up to three years they will not count it and instead use my GS 7 high-three. I’ve been reading everything I can to answer this question but remained confused.”
The good news is that your high-3 will be based on the average of your three highest consecutive years of basic pay, your high-3. In the case you cited, your high-3 would include one year at GS-7 pay and two years at GS-13 pay. The less good news is that you’d be retiring under the MRA+10 provision (minimum retirement age with at least 10 but fewer than 30 years of service). This means that you annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12ths of 1 percent per month) that you were under age 62.
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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.