Buyout amounts


Q.  I am a CSRS employee,  62 years old, with 34-plus years of service.  How do I figure out the amount of the VERA incentive that I will be offered?

A. First let me clear up a misunderstanding. No financial incentives are included in a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) offer. If you are instead referring to the Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (VSIP) program, then it all depends. That’s because your agency has the option of offering the lesser of:

1. An amount equal to the amount of severance pay you would be entitled to receive, as computed under 5 USC 5595(c), without adjustments for any previous payment made; or
2. An amount determined by your agency head, not to exceed $25,000.
So, you see, if an offer were made in your agency, it could be anything from pocket change up to $25,000.

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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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