Author Topic: FEDS - Anyone taken Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA)?  (Read 1406 times)


  • Stubble
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    • This Frugal Father
Hi All,
I ran across an article today talking about early buyout and VERA, and as I read through VERA it started to sound really good!  I'm 38 years old with 10 years in, and if I were to take VERA at 50 (in 12 years) I would have 22 years in plus a year of sick leave to add on top.  I know the pension would be based on my 22 years rather than 30 years if I worked until 58, but the benefit of being able to collect a pension right away at 50 years old (even if reduced to only 22% vs 30%) seemed like a really good deal.  In addition being able to take the FERS supplement starting at 57 (MRA) seemed really cool!  From what I could read, the only downside seemed to be this:

Cost of Living Adjustments are not payable until age 62 for FERS employees only

Am I missing something else, is this not a really great deal if you want to retire early and either retire or start a new non-gov't career?  I'm not sure if you can just ask for VERA or you have to wait until it's offered?

I've got a ways to go but I wanted to know if anyone else has taken VERA or maybe decided not to take it b/c of some other downside that I'm not seeing? 


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: FEDS - Anyone taken Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA)?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2018, 11:07:31 AM »
I was CSRS so my knowledge of FERS is limited.  What you outlined, however, is my understanding of how FERS retirement works. 

The downside is that you can only get it if it's offered.  The frequency of those offers probably varies tremendously among agencies and occupations.  If your agency/activity/career field is growing you won't get an offer.  It should be used when RIF is the alternative.  Frequently is offered along with SIP (separation incentive up to 25K based on age, years of service and salary).


  • Stubble
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  • Location: Philadelphia
Re: FEDS - Anyone taken Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA)?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2018, 11:30:27 AM »
You have a long time frame until eligible to take VERA. In that time, the rules can change easily. Just this last year there was a proposal to remove COLAs and the SS Supplement (RAS) for retirees. Many feds considered retiring to maintain these two things. The proposals never made it to the Hill but it will eventually.

Also, I haven't heard of VERAs being offered recently.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: FEDS - Anyone taken Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA)?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2018, 01:03:41 PM »
It COULD be a good deal depending on where you are at financially in 12 years.

I'm FERS as well and unfortunately VERA has to be offered and it seems a pretty rare bird, at least around here. I've been in for just over 15 years and seen it offered once, with limited eligibility.  And my career field will most likely never be eligible.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: FEDS - Anyone taken Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA)?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2018, 01:43:16 PM »
VERAs require that you are already 50 and have 20 years in, or have 25 years in.  This effectively restricts their availability to people who are near retirement age anyway (or people who started very young and never left).  Yes, they can be a good deal if you can get one.

You cannot request one.  They are offered by agency and region, usually as a result of budget cuts that require reducing services.  We've had exactly one in the past decade.  The previous one was back in the 90s.

You may be offered a VSIP at any age, but they don't come with retirement benefits and are a one time payment of a few thousand dollars, so aren't really any good unless you're within a few months of retiring anyway.