High-five average salary

Your highest five consecutive years of salary is used to determine your retirement benefit. For most employees, the highest five consecutive salary is the last 60 months (or five years) of your employment.

Your average monthly salary includes all regular salary as well as per diems earned while in session. (Per diems during non-session are not included in your high-five average salary.)

How we calculate your high-five average salary

When calculating your high-five average salary, we use the highest sixty month period (5 X 12 months = 60 months), rather than a calendar year or fiscal year salary. For example, your high-five could start on March 1 and run through February five years later.

Your high-five average salary is based on your gross salary. Contributions to deferred compensation, Social Security, health care premiums, etc. do not lower your high-five.

Your employer reports your salary along with your retirement deduction each pay period to MSRS. This allows us to accurately calculate your high-five average salary.

Example of the high-five average salary calculation

Salary
including per diems

Year
1
2
3
4
5

Total

Earnings
$39,040
  35,640
  39,040
  35,640
  39,040

$188,400

The calculation

$188,400 (total high-five salary)
÷           60 months
$3,140 (average monthly salary)