Q. I am 58 years old with 16 years of service under my belt. If a VERA or VSIP is offered, am I eligible for it? If so, I would like to retire under the MRA + 10.

A. The eligibility requirements to retire under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority are age 50 with 20 years of service or at any age with 25. Therefore, you wouldn’t be eligible for a VERA. On the other hand, anyone who is offered a Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment can accept it whether or not he is eligible to retire.

Because you have met the age and service requirements to retire under the MRA + 10 provision, you can do that at any time. However, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62. You could reduce or eliminate that penalty by postponing the receipt of your annuity to a later date.


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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


    • No, I don’t know. To the best of my knowledge, there are no plans to offer early retirement opportunities to everyone who qualifies. When they are offered, they are restricted to an agency that was authorized to do that. Even then, the offer may be restricted to a particular location, organization, unit or occupation. You’ll know before we do if you are offered a VERA.

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