VSIP eligibility


Q. I am 50 years old with 20 years of service from the military (retired). I have 10 years federal service. Do I qualify for Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay? If not, OPM Form 1496A is the application For Voluntary Early Retirement. Do I submit Form 1496A prior to terminating my employment or wait until I reach the minimum retirement age?

A. Yes, you would qualify for a VSIP. No, you wouldn’t qualify for early retirement. Instead, you could apply for retirement under the MRA+10 provision. If you did, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year (5/12 of 1 percent per month) that you were under age 62. You could reduce or eliminate that age penalty by retiring and waiting until a later date to receive your annuity.

Form 1496A is for CSRS employees who resign from the government and are applying for a deferred annuity. Form RI 92-19A is the one used by 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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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