Curious about VERA? Not sure whether you’re eligible? We cover everything you need to know right here.
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.
Do you qualify?
To be eligible for VERA, an employee must:
– Meet the minimum service and age requirements, ie 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, ie by the end of March. Employees also have the option of separating earlier provided they have completed the necessary paperwork.
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 (mandatory 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 the amount of the annuity.
Will there be a separation incentive?
A spokesman for the USPS has stated that there will not be any separation incentives associated with the VERA.
What are the dates to remember?
All eligible postal employees who accept the VERA offer have to separate from the Postal Service by the end of March. You also have the option of selecting January 31st or February 28th as your date of retirement.
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Who can help me decide if VERA is right for me?
MyFedBenefits offers a free counseling service. We assist federal employees in making similar decisions both before and following retirement.
To schedule your counseling session, call us 877-741-1254 or simply fill in the form below: