Can penalty be waived?


Q: I am a federal employee with the Air Force. I am 52 with 29 years of service in CSRS. I just received notice that my position is in the first round of cutbacks and is to be abolished by Sept. 30. My question is, since my position is to be cut, if I am offered the VERA-VSIP and accepted, will they waive the 2 percent penalty for each year of early separation? My separation would be Sept. 10, 2014, without the VERA-VSIP.

A: The 2 percent penalty (1/6 percent per month) for being under age 55 is a matter of law and cannot be waived.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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