Q: The Army has announced it may offer VERA/VSIP to many civilian employees in 2012. I had planned to retire Sept. 30 and have submitted my paperwork to retire. If VSIPs are offered, I could delay or cancel my retirement if I thought I could get a VSIP in 2012. Would I be able to do this? How should I handle it? A: I’ve answered this question several times. And the answer hasn’t changed. The purpose of the Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment program is to get selected employees who had not intended to resign or retire to do so. If…

Q: During times of personnel reductions in the past, have they ever offered to waive the 5-percent penalty for years under 62 for MRA+10? A: No. The age penalty requirement is set in law and there is no provison for a waiver.

Q.  If someone was to apply for the VSIP (because they are not eligible for VERA)  and separates, would they be eligible for some type of priority status for placement with another organization/agency/ etc?  An example of what I am thinking about would be BRAC/RIF/ICAP. A.  No

Q.  I saw a recent post in which you correctly stated that an employee is not eligible for a VSIP if he previously received a VSIP.  The OPM regulations do not appear to allow an exception to this rule even if an employee repaid the full amount of the VSIP because of a return to federal service.  Am I reading the regulation correctly or is there an exception to the general rule that I could not find? A.  No, there isn’t.

Q: I work at Kirtland Air Force base, N.M. A Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay/Voluntary Early Retirement Authority survey was sent out in May with a suspense date of May 21 to show interest. I completed the survey and received confirmation that it was received. The VSIP/VERA is scheduled for fiscal year 2011/2012. It’s been more than a month and I haven’t heard anything.  I’d like to know for planning purposes; I am a Civil Service Retirement System employee with 33 years’ experience. Are you aware of any details or rulings? A: We haven’t heard a thing.

Q: If you are eligible for a discontinued service retirement and you are part of a reduction-in-force, because you are on a priority placement program for a year, why can you not wait until the year is almost up to put in for your DSR? Also, I am under the Federal Employees Retirement System, but I have money that I paid into the Civil Service Retirement System. I am not under CSRS Offset because when I was transferred the choices were not explained to me; I was just told that I had to transfer. What happens to the money that…

Q: I am in CSRS Offset. I received a VERA/VSIP buyout in 2001 and returned to work in 2008. I am 56 and have 28 years of federal service. I indicated on the recent survey that I would accept a buyout if offered. I am now told that I am ineligible for a buyout because a person can only receive one buyout in their lifetime. Is there any regulation that states an employee can only receive one buyout? A: Your agency is correct. For confirmation, go to

Q: Are there any planned buyouts for 2011 or 2012? If so, for which agencies? A: We don’t keep an inventory of current offers, nor do we have advanced knowledge of future ones. I suggest you continue to visit our website and, better yet, subscribe to the Federal Times to be sure you have the latest information.

Q: Civilians working for Air Force Materiel Command could be getting buyout and early retirement offers. Some may be eligible for packages of up to $25,000. Is this offer going to be provided to all the Air Force Commands? If so, when? A: We haven’t heard anything. But as a guess, the likelihood is close to zero.

Q: Is there a possibility of a buyout this year for postal workers in the clerk division. Members of the APWU? A: While anything is possible, we haven’t heard anything that suggests that it is probable.

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