Social Security offering early outs, not buyouts

CORRECTION: An early column misstated the Social Security Administration’s plans. SSA is offering early retirements that includes no incentive payouts. Mike Causey is still at the chalkboard learning his lessons.

For a guy who should be fluent in government-speak I blew it big time in today’s column. I thought I had a scoop that the Social Security Administration, one of the largest federal agencies, was offering buyouts to long-time employees. Turns out what it is offering is early-retirement, not buyouts.

It’s an easy mistake for normal people who confuse buyouts and early outs all the time, but less excusable for me.  I know the difference but just got it wrong.

A buyout is when an agency offers employees up to $25,000 to quit or retire. Buyouts, understandably, get a lot of long-time feds excited.  And sometimes, like today, long-time federal writers do, too.

Early outs are just that — people can leave before their normal retirement time but there is no cash incentive. When agencies offer buyouts they are very, very popular. In most cases they have to limit them because so many apply.

Early outs not so much.  When agencies offer only an early out usually only a handful of people take it. So we’ll see how successful the early-out only is this time around. Refer to our lead story this morning for better insight.

In the meantime, sorry for blowing it and getting people’s hopes up. Repeat after me:

An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.
An early out is not a buyout.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

The Nov. 13 birthday of “Treasure Island” author Robert Louis Stevenson has been “passed down” to other individuals since 1891. The birthday now legally belongs to Heather Finn, a knitwear designer from Oranmore, County Galway, Ireland. That’s because Stevenson left his birth date to Annie Ide, the 12-year-old daughter of the U.S. Land Commissioner in Samoa where the author lived, and who was upset that her Dec. 25 birthday denied her two celebrations. Ide later left the birth date to her niece, who bequeathed it to Finn.

Source: Irish Times

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