Q. I am a Postal Service employee with 27 years of service at age 53. If I take the upcoming Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, is there a penalty for early FERS retirement? Will I qualify for the Social Security special retirement supplement? I heard the supplement would not be paid upon early retirement under the VERA provision if you had not reached your minimum retirement age, and if you retired early, you would have to wait until you reached your MRA to start getting this supplement. As it relates solely to the Social Security supplement, what is the MRA to qualify for the supplement under VERA? Is it any age with 30 years of service? 60 years old with 20 years of service under normal retirement? Or is it 50 years old with 20 years of service under VERA? I read one of your articles where you mentioned that you would qualify for the supplement if you were born between 1953 and 1964. Does the MRA requirement for the supplement change under VERA?
A. You would be able to accept the early retirement offer because you fit the criteria: at least age 50 with a minimum or 20 years of service or any age with at least 25. As a FERS employee, you’d be eligible to receive the special retirement supplement when you reach your minimum retirement age, which in your case is 56.