PERSONNEL AND READINESS
MEMORANDUM FOR: SEE DISTRIBUTION
SUBJECT: National Security Personnel System - Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay
(VSIP) and Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) Policy
Section 9902(i) of title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.), as enacted by section 1101 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, Public Law 108-136 (November 24, 2003), provides authority for the Secretary of Defense to establish a permanent downsizing and restructuring VSIP and VERA program within the Department. This program includes early retirement approval authority as well as conditional approval authority for separation incentives (applied to voluntary and early retirement as well as voluntary resignations), commonly referred to as buyouts. By memorandum dated December 30, 2003, the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) re-delegated this authority to this office. This memorandum delegates that authority to Component Heads for positions up to the GS-15 level (and equivalent) and authorizes further delegation to the lowest practicable level, but not lower than the local commander or activity head. The attached guidance provides implementation, documentation and report information.
Annual usage of both downsizing and restructuring buyouts is limited to 25,000 (legislation does not limit actions resulting from Base Realignment and Closure activity or for non-appropriated fund employees). Based on FY 2003 end-strength, the Military departments and the Fourth Estate are provided the following buyout allocations:
Army -7,722, Navy -7,135, Air Force - 5,873, and the Fourth Estate - 4,270. The Military Departments and the Washington Headquarters Services (WHS), acting for the Fourth Estate, are responsible for assigning allocations to organizations under their purview and ensuring the allocations are not exceeded, including application to senior level positions (Senior Executive Service, Senior Level, Scientific and Technical, Defense Intelligence Senior Level, Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service, those pay-banded positions above the GS-15). There is no limitation on the use of early retirement authority so long as the actions are consistent with the attached guidance.
Authorized users may immediately initiate use of this authority within the buyout allocations indicated above so long as affected employees leave government service during FY 2004. It will be necessary to report quarterly allocation use to the Civilian Personnel Management Service, Civilian Assistance and Re-Employment (CARE) Division office to ensure that allocations are effectively used and reallocated as necessary. All other reporting will be accomplished through automated methods. Likewise, it should be noted that future use of these authorities for Base Realignment and Closure purposes will require additional reporting in accordance with the NDAA for FY 2004.
If you require additional information or clarification of the guidance provided, you should contact the CARE office at (703) 696-1799, (DSN: 426).