Q. I am a 48-year-old FERS employee with 25 years of civil service. Our organization has offered a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority. If my organization approves my VERA, when would I be eligible to receive an annuity? Immediately or at age 56? What are the near- and long-term pros and cons of accepting VERA?

A. Because you have at least 25 years of service, you would be eligible for an immediate annuity. When you reached your minimum retirement age, you would be entitled to the special retirement supplement. However, if you had earnings from wages or self-employment at the time that exceeded the annual Social Security earnings limit, your SRS would be reduced or suspended. As for any other near- and long-term pros and cons, you’ll have to figure those out for yourself.


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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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