Two Errors In USPS VER FAQs

From reader Don Cheney

There are two errors in management’s questions and answers on Voluntary Early Retirement.  It could affect a few people’s decision to retire now or not.  These were brought to management’s attention by the APWU at least six weeks ago and have not been corrected.  See the FAQs at

Management’s answer to VER Question 12 has generated a lot of confusion.  The part regarding COLAs is NOT correct.  COLAs are included in basic pay.  COLAs have been rolled immediately into basic pay starting with the 1994 national agreement.  See the definition in ELM 432.21.

Also, management’s answer to VER Question 35 regarding continuing health benefits in retirement is NOT correct for Voluntary Early Retirements.  For Voluntary Early Retirements OPM has an automatic waiver of the 5-year enrollment requirement.  See OPM’s website at [Effect of Early Retirement on Benefits]:

“OPM will grant pre-approved waivers to employees who have been covered under the FEHB Program continuously since the beginning date of the agency’s latest OPM-approved VERA authority, and retire during the OPM-approved VERA period, and take early optional retirement (i.e., VERA).

If you meet these requirements, you do not need to write a letter requesting a waiver.  Instead, your agency must attach a memorandum to your retirement application stating that you meet the requirements for a pre-approved waiver by OPM as set forth in Benefits Administration Letter (BAL) 00-220.”