OPM offering 300 buyouts, early outs across 14 divisions

Thursday - 6/6/2013, 5:42am EDT

The Office of Personnel Management is spreading about 300 buyouts or early outs across 14 divisions.

An OPM official confirmed the decision to trim its ranks as part of a cost-savings measure.

The Federal Times first reported OPM's plans to offer early outs and buyouts.

The official said the planned reductions are based on a comprehensive strategic workforce planning review.

"This review enabled us to identify areas where we can create efficiencies and better align our talent toward delivering our mission," the official said. "To avoid an unmanageable number of departures and diminished work capacity, we have identified caps/limits to the number of VSIPs that will be accepted from any particular occupation/work unit. We remain committed to meeting our highest priority goals in the given fiscal environment."

OPM previously had not offered early outs or buyouts as other agencies did to reduce staff in an effort to deal with smaller discretionary budgets.

OPM's budget for salaries and expenses in 2013 is $90.9 million, about $600,000 more than in 2012, according to the agency's 2014 budget justification document.

OPM asked for about $2.2 million less in salaries and expenses for 2014, which may be the reason the agency is trying to reduce staff as it gets close to the end of the fiscal year.

The agency also hasn't had to offer furloughs to deal with budget reductions under sequestration. But the agency is under a hiring freeze.

Under the regulations for buyouts, employees who choose this approach are eligible for up to $25,000.

Under the regulations for early retirements, employees who choose this approach must be either at least 50-years old and have 20 years of federal service, or any age with at least 25 years of federal service.

The 14 divisions where OPM will focus the 300 early outs and buyouts are:

  • Human Resource Solutions
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Congressional, Legislative, and Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Communications & Public Liaison
  • Employee Services
  • Executive Secretariat & Ombudsman
  • EEO/Diversity & Inclusion
  • Facilities, Security & Contracting
  • Healthcare & Insurance
  • Merit System Accountability and Compliance
  • Office of the General Counsel
  • Planning & Policy Analysis
  • Retirement Services

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