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Final Average Pay (FAP) and "High 36"
When you retire, you will get a monthly pension benefit for life. Your base benefit is calculated using a formula, as defined by law, that takes into account the following factors:
• Final Average Pay (FAP) – The average of your highest 36 consecutive months of pay
• Multiplier – The multiplier established by the legislature
• Credited Service – Your years and months of credited service earned, purchased, or transferred, and unused sick leave (if applicable)
(Base benefit is the amount before any reductions, taxes, or other deductions.)
To answer your questions, specifically,
- Is it the top three in all years of service? Do they have to be in a row? Can they be spread out? It is your highest 36 consecutive months pay. We will look at your entire pay history and find the “high 36”. All 36 months must be in a row.
- Does that include Backdrop time? No. If you elect BackDROP at retirement, any pay earned during the BackDROP period does not count in your “high 36”.
- What if your income for the years served are higher than the salary of a specified job? For example, if you made $70,000 but your max pay for that job is $49,000 what is your retirement based on? We look at your gross pay, as reported by your employer, which may include overtime pay and holiday pay. We do not look at your job title or pay ranges.
Here is an example of how the base benefit formula works for a person whose gross pay is $50,000 per year (for at least 36 months) and who retires under MSEP 2000 with 25 years of service:
FAP ($4,167) x Multiplier (0.017) x Credited Service (25) = $1,770.98 monthly base benefit in retirement
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We strive to provide the most accurate information possible in our answers to Rumor Central questions. However, occasionally, laws, policies or provisions change and individual circumstances may vary. Please contact a MOSERS benefit counselor or see the handbooks in our website Library for more detailed information. If there is any difference between the information provided in this blog or on the MOSERS website and the law or policies that govern MOSERS, the law and policies will prevail. See our Privacy, Security & Legal Notices for more information.