2012 Buyout Guide

Thursday - 1/5/2012, 5:29pm EST

Tightening budgets and changing workforce are still pressing agencies to shift their resources. Some have turned to buyout and early retirement offers as a means of trimming their payrolls.

Find the latest 2012 details below about Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay (VSIP) and Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA). Please check often for updates.

Agency Description Timelines
Air Force The Air Force approved 510 employees for buyouts/early outs. An Air Force spokeswoman said there was no target number for the buyouts. The service approved about 1,800 applications in each of two previous rounds of buyouts. The target for the first round of buyouts was 6,005 positions. Employees must separate by Aug. 31.
Agriculture The Agriculture Department's Natural Resources Conservation Service wants to trim its ranks by 300 employees by end of the year. But the agency's total headcount will drop only by about 150. NRCS plans to offer 900 employees the chance to take buyouts or early retirements, and the agency will accept about 300 of them. USDA will offer the buyouts in spring. Employees must leave in the fourth quarter.
Broadcasting Board of Governors Buyouts and early outs offered agency-wide for up to 287 employees. Employees must apply for buyouts by Nov. 9 and separate by Dec. 31. Employees who want to retire early must apply by Nov. 30, 2013.
U.S. Census 206 headquarters employees applied for buyouts, including administrative and IT staff. Census announced the buyouts for up to 400 employees who retire from Feb. 19 to April 3.
GSA GSA is targeting 1,022 people for round two of buyouts. Most of the positions are in GSA's headquarters. Eligible employees must apply by July 20 and leave the agency between Aug. 3 and Sept. 30.
IRS The IRS has announced two rounds of buyouts. One round targeted up to 400 jobs. The second round focuses on about 270 enforcement positions. The first round aimed to have employees leave by March. The second round required employees to leave by May 3.
Los Alamos National Laboratory The lab accepted 557 voluntary separations. The lab had wanted to cut contract staff by 400 to 800 from its full-time, permanent contract staff of about 7,600. Some essential job functions were excluded. Employees had to separate by April 19.
NASA The Goddard Space Flight Center offered buyouts to 117 employees, including 60 in the Sciences and Exploration Directorate. The deadline to apply is July 20. Employees must separate by Oct. 3.
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Two-thirds of 150 employees offered buyouts were accepted, according to an agency spokesperson. Employees had to separate by March 31.
Navy The Navy is offering early retirements to 303 sailors, as part of its force management strategy. The service targeted sailors who have 15 years of active- duty service on or before Sept. 1. Sailors who accept the early out must separate by Sept. 1.
Small Business Administration Agencywide, 180 took buyouts, with 35 of them as early retirements. Employees separated by the end of February.
Transportation Security Administration TSA offered targeted early retirements, according to an internal memo obtained by Federal News Radio. Employees had to separate by April 30.
Social Security Administration SSA is offering early outs to up to 9,000 employees. As of Sept. 20, 64 employees had separated. Employees must separate by Sept. 30.
Treasury Department Treasury accepted 58 positions for buyouts. The agency targeted "a variety of positions for restructuring to enable Departmental Offices to better recruit for positions that are needed to meet new and evolving mission requirements," a spokesperson said. Buyouts were worth up to $25,000. Employees had to separate by May 5.
USPS The Postal Service reached an agreement in October with the American Postal Workers Union to offer a $15,000 retirement incentive to full-time career employees. In August, USPS offered early outs to 3,300 workers retiring Dec. 31, 2012. This follows buyout offers in May to 21,000 postmasters, of which 13,000 were retirement-eligible, and to 45,000 mail handlers. The payment to APWU members who decide to retire by either Jan. 31 or Feb. 28, 2013, will come in two stages: a $10,000 payment by May 24 and another $5,000 by May 23, 2014. To qualify for early retirement, employees must have at least 20 years of service and be 50, or must have 25 years of service at any age. For CSRS employees, the annuity is reduced 2 percent for each year workers are under age 55. Postmasters who took buyouts had to separate by July 31. Mail handlers who took buyouts separated by Aug. 31. The deadline to accept the early out is Nov. 19.
Veterans Affairs Eleven of VA's regional healthcare networks received authority in late 2011 to offer buyouts (829 positions) early retirements (210 positions). As of March 31, VA made early retirement buyout offers to 263 employees and 37 have accepted. VA spokesperson Jo Schuda told Federal News Radio application and separation deadlines vary and that employees should contact their managers for specifics. VA's authority expires on Sept. 30.

If your agency is offering buyouts and/or early retirements in 2012 but is not on this list, please email us.

Read about last year's VSIP and VERA activity in our 2011 Buyout Guide.