VERA, special retirement supplement and COLA


Q. I am 47 years old with 25 years and two months of service time under FERS. If I accept Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, my understanding is that my monthly annuity will not be eligible for cost-of-living adjustments. Is that correct?

Also, once I reach age 56 and four months, the special retirement supplement would then be added until I’m age 62. Is that correct?

After age 56 and four months, would COLAs then be applied to the annuity?

Finally, if I’m working in the private sector earning a salary above the current $14,000 Social Security limit for earnings, would the supplement be reduced $1 for every $2 I earn over the limit?

A. If you accept a VERA, you will be entitled to the special retirement supplement when you reach your minimum retirement age. As you pointed out, if you have earning from wages or self-employment that exceed the annual Social Security earnings limit, your SRS would be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn above that limit. In 2013, the limit is $15,120.

You won’t be eligible for cost-of-living increases in your annuity until you reach age 62.


About Author

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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