VERA and postponing annuity

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Q. My retirement eligibility service computation date is June 6, 1985. I’m under FERS and am 48 years old.  I’d like to take the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority this year if offered. If I retire at 48 under VERA and I postpone my FERS annuity until age 56 (my normal minimum retirement age), will the annuity amount be the same as it would have been if I actually retired at 56 rather than 48, or is it reduced? Is this amount changed if I take the FERS annuity at 56 rather than 48?  If I postpone FERS annuity, will the government still contribute toward health insurance benefits and life insurance from age 48 to 56?

A. Because you have at least 25 years of service, if you were offered a VERA, you’d be eligible for an immediate annuity, That annuity would be based on your high-3 and total creditable service on the day you retired. Postponing its receipt wouldn’t change that. In other words, if your annuity was $30,000 on the day you retired, it would still be $30,000 eight years later. The special retirement supplement would be based on your total period of FERS service and wouldn’t be payable until you reached your minimum retirement age. As for your health benefits and life insurance premiums, if you retired on an immediate annuity, the government contributions to your health and life insurance premiums would continue. If you postponed the receipt of your annuity, both benefits would be suspended until your annuity began.

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