Welcome or Title

Page description goes here!

Main Menus



Recent Articles



What's New



Hot Topics


2015 COLA Update

Federal retirees in the CSRS and FERS retirement systems may receive a COLA increase of 2% or more in 2015. Complete COLA information is available on this site. Active federal employee's pay may increase 3% in 2015 if administration's request is accepted by Congress.  

Retiree JOB Opportunities

Many job opportunities are available for federal retirees − and those planning to retire soon − to earn additional income in retirement. Our Jobs Board has updated listings targeted to federal retirees. Many companies seek out retired federal employees due to their government experience and contacts. You can also explore high paying opportunities for those that hold current Security Clearances.  



Buyout Authority (VSIP)


Federal Employee's CSRS & FERS Federal Civil Service Retirement
& Financial Planning Resources

Horizonal bar





Retirement Planning Assistance

Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments (VSIP)

The Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment Authority, also known as buyout authority, allows agencies that are downsizing or restructuring to offer employees lump-sum payments up to $25,000 as an incentive to voluntarily separate. When authorized by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), an agency may offer VSIP to employees who are in surplus positions or have skills that are no longer needed in the workforce who volunteer to separate by resignation, optional retirement, or by voluntary early retirement, if approved. By allowing employees to volunteer to leave the Government, agencies can minimize or avoid involuntary separations through the use of costly and disruptive reductions in force (RIFs). Agencies such as the Department of Defense that have been granted agency-specific VSIP authority are not required to seek OPM approval for their use of this option.

Covered Employees



When an agency has received approval from OPM to offer VSIP, any employee (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105) who meets these general eligibility requirements may receive an offer. The employee must:

  1. Be serving in an appointment without time limit;
  2. Be currently employed by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government for a continuous period of at least 3 years;
  3. Be serving in a position covered by an agency VSIP plan (i.e., in the specific geographic area, organization, series and grade);
  4. Apply for and receive approval for a VSIP from the agency making the VSIP offer; and
  5. Not be included in any of the ineligibility categories listed below.

Employees in the following categories are not eligible for VSIP. Employees who:
Are reemployed annuitants;

  1. Have a disability such that the individual is or would be eligible for disability retirement;
  2. Have received a decision notice of involuntary separation for misconduct or poor performance;
  3. Previously received any VSIP from the Federal Government;
  4. During the 36-month period preceding the date of separation, performed service for which a student loan repayment benefit was paid, or is to be paid;
  5. During the 24-month period preceding the date of separation, performed service for which a recruitment or relocation incentive was paid, or is to be paid; and
  6. During the 12-month period preceding the date of separation, performed service for which a retention incentive was paid, or is to be paid.

Incentive Payment Computation



An agency computes a Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment on the basis of the lesser of:

  1. An amount equal to the amount of severance pay the employee would be entitled to receive, as computed under 5 U.S.C. 5595(c), without adjustment for any previous payment made; or
  2. An amount determined by the agency head, not to exceed $25,000.

The amount that the employee actually receives is less than the amount determined using the above computations because of the deduction of taxes, including Federal, state, social security, and Medicare, as appropriate.

Discretionary Authority


As with any incentive, when approved by OPM, this authority is used at the discretion of the agency. Each agency must develop a VSIP plan to describe why the program is needed, how it will be implemented, and which employees will be eligible.

Repayment Requirement



An employee who receives a VSIP and later accepts employment for compensation with the Government of the United States within 5 years of the date of the separation on which the VSIP is based, including work under a personal services contract or other direct contract, must repay the entire amount of the VSIP to the agency that paid it - before the individual's first day of reemployment.

If the proposed employment is with an agency other than the General Accounting Office, the United States Postal Service, or the Postal Rate Commission, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management may, at the request of the head of the agency, waive the repayment if:

  1. The proposed reemployment is with an executive branch agency;
  2. The individual involved possesses unique abilities and is the only qualified applicant available for the position; or
  3. In case of emergency involving a direct threat to life or property, the individual:
a. Has skills directly related to resolving the emergency; and
b. Will serve on a temporary basis only as long as the individual's services are made necessary by the emergency.


  • 5 U.S.C. 3521
  • 5 CFR Part 576
  • 5 U.S.C. 2105


Return to Top of Page
Go to Home page






Newsletter Sign Up

Military Deposit Assistance