The Library of Congress (LOC) will offer buyouts to employees in about 350 positions, about 10 percent of its workforce, according to internal documents obtained by Federal News Radio.
Agency leaders say the buyout offers are the result of anticipated funding reductions in the Library’s fiscal 2012 budget.
The buyouts, officially announced to employees Friday, are worth up to $25,000 before taxes, the announcement shows. The agency is targeting positions in 12 areas, with the most, 175 positions, in Library Services. The Copyright Office could lose 52 jobs.
The agency employed about 3,600 permanent employees in 2010. To qualify for the buyouts, employees in eligible positions and at least age 50 need to need to have 20 or more years of federal service, LOC leaders said. Employees younger than 50 must have at least 25 years of federal service.
Buyout applications must be submitted between 8 a.m. on Sept. 2 and 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 3. Employees must leave the agency between Oct. 24 and Nov. 3.
If the number of people applying exceeds the number of available slots in any given position or group of positions, the Library will base application decisions on seniority. Employees whose applications are denied will receive a chance to speak with management about the decision.
The Library will host briefings to help employees decide whether to apply.
“Retirement is a major life decision,” Congressional Research Employees Association (CREA) President Dennis Roth told Federal News Radio. “You really have to think about it very carefully and understand the consequences.”
CREA represents about 500 LOC employees.
The agency will also provide eligible employees with access to retirement counselors, for one-on-one advice. The Library has given these individuals access to employee payroll details and work history, to help employees considering buyouts make more informed decisions, Roth said.