24 December 2008
MEMORANDUM FOR SEE DISTRIBUTION
SUBJECT: Guidance on Voluntary Separation Incentives
Department of Defense Civilian Personnel Manual, DoD 1400.25-M, Subchapter 1702, Voluntary Separation Programs.
Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) memorandum, subject: Delegation of Authority for Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay, and Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay Phase II, dated 17 December 2008.
Assistant G-1 for Civilian Personnel memorandum, subject: National Security Personnel System - Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay (VSIP) and Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA), dated 17 May 2005, hereby superseded.
2. On 17 December 2008, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) signed a memorandum (enclosure) delegating authority to the Commanders of the Army Commands, the Commanders of the Army Service Component Commands, the Commanders/Superintendent of the Direct Reporting Units, and the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, to approve early retirement and voluntary separation incentive pay
3. While VSIP is not an employee entitlement, it is a management tool used to encourage designated civilian employees to separate voluntarily from Federal service. Voluntary separation incentives may be used to reduce or restructure the civilian workforce, create vacancies for the placement of employees subject to involuntary separation by reduction in force (RIF), or avoid the need for involuntary separations during RIF. Managers are not required to offer a VSIP in conjunction with VERA as there are times that VERA alone can be an attractive incentive for employees.
4. The DoD 1400.25-M, SC 1702.3.2.3.1 through SC 1702.3.2.3.4 addresses ineligibility for VSIP. Exceptions to SC1702.3.2.3.1 through SC1702.3.2.3.4 may be granted on a case-by-case basis when the VSIP approving authority determines the offer of a VSIP is in the best interest of the offering activity. Please note that the ASA (M&RA) approval of waivers for employees occupying a position for which special salary rates are approved is no longer required, as it was under prior Army Guidance and Procedures. Waiver requests and approvals must be supported and documented in writing and must be made available for review by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, if requested.
5. The following are some things to consider when determining if a voluntary separation incentive is appropriate during reorganization or restructuring actions.
a. Scope. The size and type of reorganization determines what tools may be used. Questions to consider include: How much time is there before the reorganization or restructuring begins? What is the size of the cutback? Is it budget-driven, program related, or required in order to meet strategic restructuring goals?
b. Timing. The amount of time available may influence the manager's decisions. The more time managers have available, the less likely they will need to use drastic measures such as a RIF. Advisors located in the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center play a key role in helping managers reorganize by attrition.
c. Targeting. It is important to identify if and where positions will be abolished. What skill sets/competencies are necessary to allow managers to continue to meet their strategic goals?
d. Flexibility. It is important to keep an open mind and not rule out any strategy at the start. There is no one solution and there are many tools that can be used to effectively carry out reorganizations. Managers need to monitor progress carefully and closely as this will enable them to make changes as necessary and ensure actions are in line with the organizational vision.
e. Cost. There is a cost involved with every decision. The VSIP may cost more in the long term than retraining or reassigning a current employee. A review should be completed on a case-by-case basis to determine if retraining or VSIP is the most cost efficient option. In some cases, offering a VSIP in conjunction with a VERA may be an unnecessary expenditure. Employees may accept a VERA in order to avoid the hardship of a management directed reassignment or other involuntary action.
6. VSIP for restructuring should be used in a manner that is consistent with future mission requirements and fiscal constraints. There should be compelling business reasons to offer VSIP. Restructured positions should be filled no later than one year after the VSIP was approved.
Examples of restructuring positions include:
- A lower grade (i.e., Contract Specialist, GS-1102-14 restructured to a GS-1102-12) or a lower pay band (i.e., Contract Specialist, YA-1102-3 restructured to a YA-1102-2);
- A higher grade or pay band with a different skill set (i.e., an Information Technology Specialist (Customer Support), GS-2210-13 or YA-2210-2 to an Information Technology Specialist (Network), GS-2210-14 or YA-3);
- A different series (i.e., a Program Analyst, GS-343-14 or YA-343-3 restructured to a Budget Analyst, GS-560-14 or YA-560-3);
- The same series and grade or pay band with a different skill set if the incumbent does not currently possess the skills (i.e., an Information Technology Specialist,
GS-2210-13 or YA-2210-2 with mainframe skills requirements restructured to a GS-2210-13 or YA-2210-2 with Network skills requirements); or
- An entry level grade or pay band in the same series or different series to correct a skills imbalance (i.e., an Accountant, GS-510-12 or YA-510-2 restructured to a Systems Accountant, GS-510-7 or YA-510-1 with full performance at the GS-12 or pay band 2 level to recruit individuals with up-to-date technology skills).
7. Activities are reminded to fulfill their applicable statutory labor relations obligations in exercising these VSIP authorities.
8. My point of contact for this action is Beth Helmer, (703) 325-7271/DSN 221, or firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, G-1:
Assistant G-1 for Civilian Personnel
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY
US ARMY FORCES COMMAND
US ARMY TRAINING AND DOCTRINE COMMAND
US ARMY MATERIEL COMMAND
ARMY SERVICE COMPONENT COMMANDS
US ARMY EUROPE US ARMY CENTRAL
US ARMY NORTH
US ARMY SOUTH
US ARMY PACIFIC
US ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
US ARMY SPACE AND MISSILE DEFENSE COMMAND/ARMY STRATEGIC
EIGHTH US ARMY
DIRECT REPORTING UNITS
US ARMY NETWORK ENTERPRISE TECHNOLOGY COMMAND/9TH SIGNAL
US ARMY MEDICAL COMMAND
US ARMY INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY COMMAND
US ARMY CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION COMMAND
US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
US ARMY MILITARY DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
US ARMY TEST AND EVALUATION COMMAND
US MILITARY ACADEMY
US ARMY RESERVE COMMAND
US ARMY INSTALLATION MANAGEMENT COMMAND
DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR INTELLIGENCE, ATTN: DAMI-CP
ASSISTANT G-1 FOR CIVILIAN PERSONNEL
DIRECTOR, CIVILIAN HUMAN RESOURCES AGENCY
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (MANPOWER AND DRESERVE AFFAIRS),
THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL, ATTN: DAJA-LE