Furloughs vs. buyouts


Q. Can someone explain why furloughing workers would be the first step to save money? I would think  buyouts would be first. There are thousands of CSRS employees just waiting for a buyout; why aren’t they being offered?

A. You’re wrong. It’s far less expensive to the government to furlough employees than to pay them to leave. First, you don’t have to shell out any money. Second, you can furlough far more employees than you can get to take a buyout. Third, some of those who are furloughed will decide to retire at little additional expense to the government. Finally, needed employees will go back to work when the furlough is over.


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  1. The poster framed his statement wrong. The real benefit of VERA/VSIP is getting people off the roles for this year and the out years. Sure you save more with a furlough assuming no one leaves. But if you get someone off the roles you’ve saved his entire salary and benefits for this year and forever (assuming position is not filled). So, yes VERA/VSIP would in fact save DoD a vast amount — and perhaps reduce the need for additional furloughs/RIFS next year

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