How are VERA applicants selected?


Q. I am eligible for and have quickly submitted the interest form for Voluntary Early Retirement Authority three times now. I am a GS-11 with 25 years and seven months of service at 56 years of age. I have been turned down twice and fear being turned down again. I have been told that it won’t save someone else’s job or variably because they can’t hire behind me. How are successful VERA applicants chosen? My job is not so specialized that someone couldn’t backfill. There are plenty of other people at my level with the same job series. I understand the Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay isn’t automatically offered to everyone but thought VERA was approved for those who were eligible.

A. VERA is a mechanism for restructuring the workforce with a minimum of disruption. An agency is required to submit a detailed plan to the Office of Personnel Management, which includes a detailed summary of the agency’s personnel and/or budgetary situation that will result in excess personnel because of delayering, reorganization, transfer of function, reductions in force, etc. The plan must specify the occupations, grades, organization units and geographic areas where VERAs can be offered. As you can see, employees aren’t selected for a VERA, nor can they apply for one. If offered one, they can only accept or reject 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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