Salary spiking is defined as improperly increasing salary before an individual retires. This activity increases contribution rates because pension benefits for retirees are based on the highest average salary. Some employers could defer increases or convert benefits to salary in the final years before an individual retires in an attempt to improve his or her pension. This could also include an increase in overtime work during the final years before retirement.
The final average salary used to determine monthly retirement benefits is based on eligible compensation paid to employees and reported to our office. A monthly retirement allowance is calculated according to the definition of "final average salary" as defined in the various URS retirement systems.