VERA and VSIP
Leveraging early retirement and buyout tools to enable efficiencies in Federal agencies
With soaring budget deficits and new mandates for government reform, agencies are being forced to reduce costs, operate more efficiently, and transform the way they manage their programs and deliver services to the American people. These considerations along with President Obama’s directive to find ways to consolidate duplicative functions will be the driving force to downsize or reshape parts of agencies or entire departments. And new mandates for change are being announced daily.
Federal agencies should consider leveraging two tools – Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) and Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments (VSIP) – as they address challenges that include budget shortfalls, changes to mission, advancing technology, and obsolete skill sets.
In the past VERA was used primarily for downsizing, and VSIP was often offered in conjunction with VERA as a means of reduction in force (RIF) avoidance. The Chief Human Capital Officers Act of 2002, expanded the use of VERA beyond downsizing by granting agencies the right to also request VERA to restructure, or reshape their workforce.
This change created flexibility and provides agencies an opportunity to leverage VERA and VSIP simultaneously to strategically align their workforces. For example, used together they can help:
- Address the mismatch between organizational structures and competencies as missions evolve and new skills are needed
- Reduce the number of excess personnel caused by a reorganization, reshaping, or restructuring
- Establish a more balanced distribution of high- to low-grade positions via retiring more highly graded employees
- Manage the timing of retirements for large retirement-eligible populations such as the baby-boomer generation
- Reorganize organizations to streamline operations
- Mitigate the impact of program cutbacks, or transfers of function
Federal agencies are facing the daunting task of responding to a new era of challenges. These challenges include tight budgets as well as the need to find ways to cut costs, to reduce spending, and to do more with less.
To keep your agency ahead of the curve, download the full whitepaper to learn more.