Q. I am 59 years old and will have 23 years of service under FERS with the federal government in January. If I decide to retire via Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay, will I take a penalty in my retirement pay? If so, at what percent would that be? Also, would I still receive the supplemental benefit if I leave? In filling out the form for VERA/VSIP, would I select the VSIP or VERA? Would I be eligible for the VSIP?

A. If you were to accept an offer of early retirement, you wouldn’t be subject to the 5 percent-per-year reduction for every year you were under age 62. Since you have already reached your minimum retirement age, you’d be entitled to the special retirement supplement. Only your agency can tell you if you are eligible for a VSIP. If you are, you could both accept that payment and take early retirement.


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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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