VERA questions


Q: I am a 53-year-old FERS employee with 34 years of service, 10 active military (bought back time), plus 24 years FERS time. If offered voluntary early retirement, will I get 34 percent of my final salary in retirement pay? And will I be eligible for the Social Security supplement? If so, how do I calculate it? 24/40 estimated full Social Security amount? Can I  make substantially equal withdrawals from my TSP account at age 53 without penalty, assuming I do an early-out retirement?

A: You would receive 1 percent of your high-3 for every year of creditable service (1/12 percent per month). You would be eligible for the special retirement supplement when you reached your minimum retirement age, which in your case would be 56. To estimate the amount of the SRS, take the Social Security benefit estimate provided you by the Social Security Administration and multiply it by your total years of FERS service rounded up to the next higher year. (Do not include any military service for which you paid a deposit.) Now divide the product by 40.


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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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