Q. I am a 51-year-old federal employee covered by FERS. I have 31+ years of service, and my agency is offering the Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay/Voluntary Early Retirement Authority option. However, my direct management has flat-out denied my request for early retirement under the premise that it will take them more than six months to backfill my position under the current government conditions. Moreover, I am one of about 50 budget analysts, any of which should be able to do what I am doing. Do I have any recourse? Am I just plain out of luck and have no option but to suck it up? Or is there a way I can force management to approve my request as in other parts of my agency?
A. The decision about who will be offered an early retirement option, with or without a VSIP, is up to your agency. However, if you believe you have been singled out for different treatment, you can get in touch with your agency’s Office of the Inspector General.