Q. The Dec. 13 VERA announcement for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees is silent about whether FERS employees 55 to 61 years old will have reductions in their annuities due to age. (I’ll be 59 when I retire next year, with almost 24 years of service.) The “VERA FAQs Final” they sent with the announcement states (p. 1) “FERS Employees: Your annuity is not reduced if you are under the age of 55” and (p. 2) “FERS Annuity … If you retire under the age of 55, there is no annuity reduction.” I assume this discussion about being under 55 is making a distinction between FERS and CSRS employees, the former not getting a reduction and the latter getting a reduction for being under 55. I assume there is no reduction for us FERS employees 55 to 61 years old; it would be very unfair if people 54 years old got no reduction but people 56 years old did. But the information does not explain this. I called personnel staff in our regional office, and they didn’t know the answer. Do you?
A. Perhaps the material you were sent wasn’t as clear as it should have been. Here are the rules. No age penalty will be applied to any employee who retires at age 62 with five years of service, age 60 with 30 years, or at his minimum retirement age (MRA) with 30. Further no age penalty will be applied to anyone who retires under an early retirement authority at age 50 with at least 20 years of service or at any age with at least 25. However, any employee who retires under the MRA+10 provision (minimum retirement age with between 10 and 29 years of service) will have his annuity reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 percent per month) that he is under age 62