Q. I’ve just received notice that I am eligible for VERA at the U.S. Postal Service and adding up my years found that I’ve been with the Postal Service for 19 years and 6 months. However, I just turned 53 and I bought my military time of 3 years when I first entered the Postal Service. Retirement would be possible if I qualify for SRS. Do I qualify for the SRS? And If I do, when does it go into effect?

A. Yes, you’d qualify for the special retirement supplement. You’d begin receiving it when you reach from minimum retirement age, which is 56 years and 6 months.


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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


  1. Please be advised…..your SRS does NOT cover the military time. SRS ONLY covers postal time. I had over 10 years military I bought on day #1. At 33 years I went out & HR told me that my SRS would be $1080. I believed them. After OPM finished, my SRS was $685. That is a considerable difference retireD. Thank God, I have investments. Always double check your HR and learn PRIOR to retirement.

  2. The above comment by KAREN M on Jan 24th is very accurate. I to, did a lot of research before retirement on the SRS. The on-line DLA calculator was very accurate as far as the basic retirement amount, but was wrong to the tune of hundreds of dollars OVER the accurate amount for the SRS. While military time is used for your basic retirement amount (years of service)….those years are NOT calculated into your SRS…..only your CIVILIAN government time is!!

  3. My main concern was the receiving of any of the SRS, because I was told I needed at least 20 years of Postal service to qualify. I am short of the 20 years by just 6 months or so. The military of 3 years gave me the time to qualify for VERA, but I wasn’t sure about the SRS.

    • You will receive the SRS when you reach your minimum retirement age. If you have already reached your MRA. you’d be immediately entitled to that benefit. In either case, it would be based solely on your years of civilian service.

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