Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

VERA and COLA

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Q. How does the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority work for cost-of-living adjustments and Social Security?

Hypothetical situation: Person retires at age 52 years old with 30 years as a FERS civilian in 2014. S/he does not get any COLAs until age 62 in 2024. If this person’s annuity is $2,000 a month, then their annuity remains the same until age 62. Would his/her annuity be readjusted with COLAs to the year 2024? If the person’s minimum retirement age is 56 in 2018, would COLAs kick in and his annuity be readjusted?

A. You’ll receive your first COLA in the January following the month in which you turn 62. It will be the one that is given to all eligible retirees who have been on the annuity roll for one year. There isn’t any look back.

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