VERA

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Q. I am planning to take a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority. I work for the Transportation Security Administration and will have my 10 years of service with them when I plan to leave. I am 56 years old. I am mainly concerned with the medical/dental, etc. benefits, which I have had for myself as well as my family for the entire 10 years. Will they still be covered, too?

A. You aren’t eligible for a VERA because they are only offered to employees who have 20 years of service and are at least 50 years old, or who have 25 years of service and are any age. Instead, you’d be retiring under the MRA + 10 provision (minimum retirement age with at least 10 years of service). If you retire under the MRA + 10 provision, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (five-twelfths of 1 percent per month) that you were under age 62. However, you would be able to continue your benefits in retirement.

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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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