Q. I am an employee with 36+ years with the Defense Department. I am 60 years and eight months old, FERS, and have been offered a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. Would I be eligible for both or only one? What entails accepting the VSIP and retiring under the VERA? What is a full special retirement supplement?

A. In your case, being offered a VERA is meaningless. You are already eligible to retire on an immediate unreduced annuity. As for the VSIP, if it’s offered to you, you can take it. The only restriction is that you can’t return to work for the government within five years or you’d have to repay the amount of the buyout you received.

As a FERS employee, when you retire, you’d be entitled to the special retirement supplement, which approximates the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a FERS employee. The SRS would continue until you reached age 62, when you’d be eligible for a Social Security benefit.


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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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