High pressure sales always need to be met with a pause, a breath, and a moment of reflection. This is not to attempt to splash any cold water upon the impending Voluntary Early Retirement packets which will be “in the mail” shortly (April 6 – 10, 2009 is the projected date of mailing out VER offer packets to all VER eligible employees). For some employees, this may be the best and most rewarding route. My concern is a simple one, with a long history of truth from the great source of all truths: “If it is too good to be true, then…” The short window of opportunity within which a decision must be made (all VER eligible employees must decide whether to apply for retirement during the period of April 10 -May 15, 2009; the actual required documents to apply for the VER must be postmarked by May 15, 2009) is short; this is a serious decision, and must be considered carefully. Some people will decide that the comparison to disability retirement benefits is great enough to consider filing for VER first, obtaining it, then filing for disability retirement benefits within 1 year therafter. That would be fine, but there are certain steps (creating a “paper trail”) which should be taken if this 1 – 2 – Step is going to be considered. In any event, the bottom-line consideration must always be: Is it in the best interest of my future? Is it the most I can get? Is it comparable to disability retirement benefits? Will I think it was the best decision to make 10, 15, 20 years from now (for example, remember that the years in which a person is on disability retirement counts as years in service for recalculation purposes at age 62). All in all, any decision that has such a small window of consideration must be scrutinized carefully.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire