VERA, Social Security and FERS annuity


Q. I’m a FERS employee with 27 years of service. I am 47 years old. If a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority is offered, at what age do I collect Social Security? Also, if a VERA is offered, would my pension be 1 percent per year for a total of 27 percent? Or are there penalties?

A. If you accepted a VERA, your annuity would equal 27 percent of your high-3, and there wouldn’t be any age penalty. You’d be eligible for the special retirement supplement when you reached your minimum retirement age, which would be 56 and six months. If, at that time, you had earnings from wages or self-employment that exceeded the annual Social Security earnings limit, your SRS would reduced or suspended.


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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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