Q. I am a postmaster under FERS. I have 30 years of service and will be 53 years and 11 months old when I receive separation notice in September. All my research suggests I will be able to retire under discontinued service retirement. It seems illogical the Postal Service would offer a VERA eight months before that. It seems to suggest that an obscure fact will be revealed then that will disqualify myself and others from DSR. How could I protect myself in that event?

A. You are personalizing this, which is a mistake. The purpose of a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority is to encourage more voluntary separations to complete needed organizational changes with minimal disruption to the workforce. In the Office of Personnel Management’s words, “By offering these short-term opportunities, an agency can make it possible for employees to receive an immediate annuity years (and in your case, months) before they would otherwise be eligible.”


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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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