Q. I have worked for the Postal Service since 1985. I did not reach career status until January 1994, when I became postmaster in my Level 11 office, so the 8½ years prior do not count, unfortunately. I have worked here my entire career. In September, it will be reduced to a Level 2 and I will not be allowed to stay. I would like to take the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority being offered. Will I be penalized the customary 5 percent per year under 30 years? I am 55 and, as of Jan. 22, have 20 years of career service (this excludes my work prior to 1994). Also, will I be able to take advantage of the special retirement supplement?

A. If you meet the age and service criteria for a VERA, the 5 percent-per-year age penalty would be waived. You would also be eligible for the special retirement supplement when you reach your minimum retirement age, which is 56.


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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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