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Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (VSIP)
Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA)

Effective strategic human capital planning involves integrating workforce planning with strengthening both current and future organizational capacity to obtain or develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to meet an organization's mission. If your organization is undergoing restructuring, reshaping, downsizing, or re-organizing, you may want to consider using two tools that can facilitate viable solutions to your human capital management challenges. These tools include two authorities:

  • Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (VSIP or 'Buy-Out')
  • Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA or 'Early Out')

The VSIP or 'Buy-Out' authority allows Federal agencies to offer lump-sum payments to employees who are in surplus positions or have skills that are no longer needed in the workforce, as an incentive to separate from Federal employment. VSIPs are an option for increasing voluntary attrition in agencies that are downsizing, restructuring, or in need of different skill sets. Besides providing an incentive for employees to voluntarily retire or resign to avoid potential reduction in force action, the agency may also offer VSIP to employees in safe positions that could then be used as placement opportunities for employees holding surplus positions.

VERA or 'Early Out' is an early retirement program that helps minimize the impact of an agency's personnel or budgetary situation that may result in an excess of personnel. The use of VERA is an option for increasing voluntary attrition in agencies that are undergoing substantial organizational change (e.g., reduction in force, reorganization, reshaping, or delayering). Essentially, VERA allows employees to receive an immediate annuity years before they would otherwise be eligible. It encourages more voluntary separations and helps agencies complete needed organizational changes while minimizing disruption to the workforce.

The use of VSIP and VERA within the Bureau have proven to be valuable tools in helping reshape the USGS workforce, adjust the needed skill sets identified in workforce plans, and address anticipated financial challenges in order to better position USGS for the future.


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