What is VERA?
Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) is a measure that allows agencies to temporarily lower the age and service requirements in order to make more employees eligible for retirement. This is intended to encourage voluntary separation and allows the agency in question to complete any necessary organizational changes.
Voluntary Early Retirement offers are available for employees under either the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). The Social Security Administration received approval from OPM on April 2nd, 2019 to offer early retirement to employees who meet the general eligibility requirements.
Understand Your Options & Get More Information About VERA
Curious about VERA? Not sure if you’re eligible? There are a few important things to consider when deciding whether to choose an early retirement, and it can affect your retirement payout. MyFEDBenefits can help you understand everything you need to know.
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Do You Qualify for VERA?
To be eligible for VERA, an employee must:
- Meet the minimum service and age requirements, i.e. be at least 50 years old with 20 years creditable service or any age with at least 25 years creditable service.
- Serve in a position covered by the agency’s VERA plan.
- Separate by the close of the early-out period, i.e. August 2nd, 2019.
- Employees also have the option of separating earlier provided they have completed the necessary paperwork. Doing this can be a very wise option as it may affect your retirement payment.
Can You Afford to Retire Early?
VERA is a type of retirement, therefore you are entitled to an annuity and should be able to continue any insurance provided it meets all relevant requirements.
Under VERA, there is not a reduction in your pension, however, the Special Annuity supplement will not be released to you before MRA (minimum retirement age). Therefore, you should consider the state of your finances before you accept any VERA offer and meet with a financial planner to determine whether early retirement is feasible.
If you’re interested in continuing to work after accepting the VERA offer, you need to understand that as a former federal employee, if you work for another department of the federal government, your salary will be reduced by the amount of the annuity.
What Are the Dates to Remember?
All eligible Social Security Administration employees who accept the VERA offer are required to separate from SSA by August 2nd, 2019, though you may have the option of choosing an earlier retirement date which can be a very wise decision (choosing the wrong date could delay your first annuity payment). SSA employees must make the decision accept a separation through the early out program no later than May 31st, 2019.
We can help you identify the best date to retire, and make sure all your benefits are in order, should you choose to take advantage of this opportunity to accept a voluntary early retirement. Take a moment to request a VERA consultation with a Benefits Advocate from MyFEDBenefits. Click the button below to get started.
Request a VERA Consultation