VERA/VSIP and age


Q. I have 26 years of uninterrupted federal service, am 58 years old, in FERS, no military service.

1. Is Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay ever offered without Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, or VERA without VSIP?

2. Can I, at less than 60 years old, accept the VERA/VSIP and retire if one or the other is offered?

3. If I take VERA and am not 60 years old but have over 25 years of service, will I be eligible to receive the special retirement supplement immediately or have to wait until age 60? How about under VSIP only?

4. If I take VERA and am not 60 years old, will I get a pension reduction for early retirement before age 60 with 5 percent off for each year short of 60? Or, does that get waived and my pension will be based on age 60?

A. VERAs are usually offered without a VSIP. And when both are offered, the positions covered are much broader in scope than the VSIPs, which are normally targeted. Only employees who are eligible for retirement can access a VERA. Anyone who is offered a VSIP can accept it, even if he’s not eligible to retire. CSRS employees who retire under a VERA will have their annuity reduced by 2 percent for every year they are under age 55. The age penalty is waived for FERS employees.


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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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