VERA and 2 percent per year age penalty


Q.  I am a Defense Department employee with close to 32 years of service.  I am 51 ½ years old.  I fall under CSRS.  They are talking about offering voluntary early retirement with a $25,000 bonus.  If I had a firm offer, I would love to negotiate a trade of the $25,000 for some or all of the 2 percent per year reduction I will need to take if I accept the VERA.   Have you ever heard of this being done?

A. No, because it can’t be done. The law doesn’t permit it.


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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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