What are the big differences between a voluntary early retirement and a DSR?

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Besides the obvious “you were willing to retire / you were forced to retire”, what are the differences between VER and DSR? Any differences between how sick and annual leave are used? Differences in healthcare / other benefits? Chance to return as an employee? TSP differences?

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Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 1)
Asked on April 10, 2017 6:06 pm
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Obviously a Voluntary Early Retirement or VERA requires an approval by OPM unless you work for DOD and it is dependent on the agency needs whether your position is included in the VERA. Whereas the Discontinued Service Retirement is when an employee loses their job for reasons other than misconduct or cause. The age and service requirements are the same for both, age 50 with 20 or more years of service or any age with 25 or more years of service. IF you are FERS, there is no age penalty for retiring under the age of 55 where under CSRS there is an age penalty. Keeping health and life insurance, are again, the same, you had to have them in effect for the last five year UNLESS the VERA gave automatic approval of waiving the 5-year rule for FEHB. Sick leave is also no different, all immediate retirements are eligible to have sick leave added as additional service credit but cannot be used to become eligible. TSP is also the same, if you leave in the year you are age 55 or older, you have access to your TSP without penalty, but if you are younger, depending on the payout option you elect, you may or may not have the 10% early withdrawal penalty apply. A Discontinued Service Retirement commences the day after separation whereas the VERA begins the first day of the month after separation. And in both instances, the retirement checks begin right away but if you are younger than your Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) your FERS supplement would not commence until you reach your MRA.
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Answered on April 10, 2017 9:19 pm

That’s great! Thanks! What about eligibility to go back? I’ve read there’s a waiting period of some kind for voluntary retirements, but haven’t seen anything about forced retirements. The new administration has made it clear they want most people at our facility shown the door, so we’re likely to have a lot of people either RIFed or retired, some at the earliest possible age/time.

( at April 10, 2017 9:28 pm)
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Unless your new agency has some rule about your working as a reemployed annuitant, I know of no reason or limit. Now, if you had received a VSIP, a Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (or better known as a buy-out) you have to wait five years before you return to federal service OR you owe the entire amount back to the agency you left from. If you do not understand about being a reemployed annuitant, I strongly suggest you read the following chapter in the CSRS FERS Handbook. https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/csrsfers-handbook/c100.pdf
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Posted by (Questions: 0, Answers: 497)
Answered on April 10, 2017 9:35 pm