Early retirement


Q. I recently completed 25 years of service with the U.S. Postal Service as a FERS employee. I’m 47 years old (I’ll be 48 on Nov. 25). If VERA is offered, will I be eligible? How could this benefit me? I’m not enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan. I chose to withdraw years ago because I have another full-time job in which I have health benefits and do not plan to leave any time soon.

A. It’s up to you to figure out if accepting early retirement would benefit you. If you accepted the offer, you’d receive an annuity computed under the following formula: 0.01 x your high-3 x your years and full months of service.

When you reach your minimum retirement age (in your case, 56 years and two months), you’d begin receiving the special retirement supplement, which approximates the Social Security benefit you earned while a FERS employee. That benefit would continue to age 62, when you’d first become eligible for a regular Social Security benefit. However, that benefit would be reduced or eliminated if you had earnings from wages or self-employment that exceeded the annual Social Security earnings limit.


About Author

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

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