Anyone for a buyout? Show ’em the money … then stand back

The buyout tidal wave of 2015-16 has failed to materialize and many agencies are still trying to figure out where they are based on the two-year agreement recen...

The buyout tidal wave of 2015-16 has failed to materialize. In that respect it’s like the “Retirement Tsunami” (first predicted in the late 1990s) that still hasn’t hit.

Many agencies are still trying to figure out where they are based on the two-year agreement recently OK’d by Congress and approved by the President.

For many feds the mantra is simple: Show me the money!

Lots of retirement-age workers say all Uncle Sam has to do is make them an offer, then stand back. A maximum $25,000 buyout — before deductions.

“Make me an offer and I am history,” says Terri, a civilian employee of the Army. She probably speaks for lots of people, particularly in DoD, which is under pressure to do some slimming.

Meantime, we got this question which is a good excuse to raise the buyout issue again:

“Is there any sort of appeals process for feds who are qualified for VERA/VSIP and whose applications were turned down? My organization has to cut positions and I am miserable here, so I would love to go early (especially if it could keep someone with a young family still employed). I was so sad when I was told, ‘your position is not going anywhere, so your application was not approved.’ Does a position have to be eliminated for the person in it to be approved, or is it up to the agency’s discretion? For what I am paid (a GS13/10) they could keep two junior people on their jobs.” — J

Unless there is some labor-management agreement, appealing a buyout rejection probably won’t work. But we did put the question to Katie Maddocks at the Federal Managers Association, and here’s her response:

“I know both Army and AF are looking at reducing positions, but the [Congressional Budget Office] just released a report on cost savings of replacing military personnel with civilian in support positions. By converting 80,000 positions at a three for two ratio, CBO estimates a savings of $3.1 billion.

I’m assuming that the reductions in personnel makes assumptions that demand of services will remain stagnant, however, just from experience that is hardly the case. Our members in DoD often comment that due to limited personnel resources along with increased demand, programs and projects are often neglected. They are not doing more with less, they are doing less with less. The best example is seen in operations and maintenance. DoD facilities have suffered greatly due to the lack of manpower, and are literally crumbling.”

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Meredith Somers

The peacock mantis shrimp punches its prey with a force equal to that of a .22-caliber bullet.

Source: National Aquarium

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