Q. I will be turning 57 next year with 26 years of service, and I believe my organization will be offering Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA)/ Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (VSIP). Would it be worth it for me to retire? Will early retirement count against me?
A. Only you can tell if it would be worth it to retire. Let’s run over a few facts that may help you to reach that decision. As a FERS employee with 27 years of service, your annuity would be 27 percent of your high-3 instead of 30 percent if you waited until you were eligible to retire on an immediate, unreduced annuity. However, if you were retiring under a VERA, your annuity wouldn’t be subject to the five-percent-per-year reduction in your annuity, which affects those who retire under the MRA+10 provision. Further, since you have already reached your minimum retirement age, you’d be entitled to the special retirement supplement, which approximates the Social Security benefit you earned while a FERS employee.
Note: While VERAs are usually offered to a broad spectrum of occupations and grades, VSIPs generally aren’t. Therefore, your decision might hinge on whether one was offered to you.