VERA, MRA and special retirement supplement


Q. I work for USPS. I heard from one of my supervisors that there was an article in Federal Times about postal employees told by OPM that if they took the 2009 VERA before reaching their MRA, the employee would not be eligible for the special retirement supplement at the time they take the VERA, but that when they reached their MRA, they would be able to receive it.

She said that after these employees who hadn’t reached their MRA took the 2009 VERA reached their MRA, they were being told that because they took the VERA before they had reached their MRA, they would not be able to get the supplement. She also said that a nationwide class action lawsuit had to be filed by the American Postal Workers Union, which resulted in a “one-time exception” being granted by the Social Security Administration to get those retirees their supplement.

I was also told the problem was with the Social Security Administration, which I was told governs the supplement program, and that OPM overstepped its authority in telling employees who took the VERA before they reached their MRA that they would still be able to get the supplement after retirement when they reached their MRA. Is there any truth to this?

A. Your supervisor is so full of it that it’s a wonder she can still breathe. Employees who retire on a VERA before reaching their MRA will begin receiving the special retirement supplement when they reach their MRA. OPM didn’t overstep its bounds and, as a result, there isn’t any class action suit in the works.


About Author

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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