Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is Gallaudet offering this incentive?

As you know, we have experienced an impact on our budget due to a leveling of our federal appropriations over the last several years which culminated in a significant reduction last year from the sequestration.  This has resulted in the University working to ensure it can meet our obligations in terms of payroll, benefits, etc., to its employees and others to the detriment of the development of academic programs, student services, and other desired programmatic requirements. Although we have made great strides, including a recent successful reaccreditation and the introduction of new programs, we are still in need of additional resources to continue that trajectory.

Why is this incentive important?

Within this context, a voluntary retirement incentive program provides a methodology with the potential of reducing the number of employees. It does so by providing eligible employees with the decision-making power over their own future plans.

Why now?

We need to make a significant reduction in this fiscal year in order to meet our budgetary obligations and provide for reallocating resources to the development of other programs and services, for the recruitment and retention of students, and for other purposes important to the vitality of Gallaudet University.

Am I eligible to participate in the Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program?

Yes, if you are in a regular status appointment and eligible to retire with the minimum age and length of service by June 30, 2014 for staff, June 6, 2014 for teachers and May 2, 2014 for faculty.

What if I want to participate but my retirement eligibility date is past June 30, 2014?

If you are eligible to retire on or before December 31, 2014, you may participate but may only receive the administrative leave through June 30, 2014 for staff, May 2, 2014 for faculty and June 6, 2014 for teachers. Between the end of the administrative leave and your retirement date you must use your annual leave or leave without pay.

I am eligible for this incentive but I am not ready to retire.  What do I do if I do not want to accept this offer?

If you choose not to participate in this program, no action is required.

What are the retirement eligibility criteria?

Employees participating in CSRS are eligible to receive an unreduced annuity if they meet one of the following minimum age and length of service combinations:

  • 55 years of age with 30 years of service
  • 60 years of age with 20 years of service
  • 62 years of age with 5 years of service

Employees participating in FERS are eligible to receive an unreduced annuity if they meet one of the following minimum age and length of service combinations:

  • Minimum Retirement Age (MRA)* with 30 years of service
  • 60 years of age with 20 years of service
  • 62 years of age with 5 years of service

*Minimum Retirement Age (MRA)

If you were born...

Your MRA is...

Before 1948

55

In 1948

55 and 2 months

In 1949

55 and 4 months

In 1950

55 and 6 months

In 1951

55 and 8 months

In 1952

55 and 10 months

In 1953 to 1964

56

In 1965

56 and 2 months

In 1966

56 and 4 months

In 1967

56 and 6 months

In 1968

56 and 8 months

In 1969

56 and 10 months

In 1970 or after

57

Note:  Employees may retire at the MRA and a minimum of 10 years of service, but with a reduced annuity (under MRA + 10).  Under MRA+10 rules, the FERS annuity will be permanently reduced by 5% for each year the retiree is under 62 years of age.

I am regular status faculty, what are my options?

  • One semester of administrative leave with full base pay and benefits to be taken the second semester of the 2013-2014 academic year. Salary is based on a 9-month appointment. Retirement will occur on or before May 2, 2014.  

OR 

  • A lump sum payment equivalent to one-half the faculty member's 9-month base salary. The lump sum payment will be paid within 30 days following the date of retirement. Retirement will occur on or before January 1, 2014. 

I am regular status staff, what are my options?

  • Administrative leave with full pay and benefits equivalent to one half of the employee's appointment salary (or maximum of 6 months if based on a 12-month appointment, prorated if part-time). The administrative leave will begin January 1, 2014 and will end no later than June 30, 2014. Annual or sick leave will not accrue while on administrative leave. Retirement will occur on or before June 30, 2014.  An annual leave lump sum (up to the allowable maximum) will be paid within 30 days following the date of retirement.

OR

  • A lump sum payment equivalent to one-half of the staff member's annual base salary (prorated if part-time). The lump sum payment will be paid within 30 days following the date of retirement. Retirement will occur on or before January 1, 2014.

 
I am regular status Clerc Center Teacher, what are my options?

  • One semester of administrative leave with full pay and benefits to be taken the second semester of the 2013-2014 academic year. Retirement will occur at the end of the second semester on or before June 6, 2014.

OR

  • A lump sum payment equivalent to one-half of the teacher's 10-month annual base pay. The lump sum will be paid within 30 days following the date of retirement. Retirement will occur on or before January 17, 2014.

 
Is there a limit on the number of individuals who can accept the offer?

Only those who are eligible can accept the offer, but within that group there is no limit on the number who accept.

Will vacated positions be refilled? Will reorganizations occur based on open positions? How will these decisions be made?

The decision to fill vacated positions resulting from this program will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. It is possible that reorganizations may occur and be determined based on the guidance from the Gallaudet Strategic Plan, the Program Prioritization Task Force, the Administrative Programs and Services Review Committee, and all Gallaudet policies.

The President will make the final decisions regarding filling vacated positions and any needed reorganization.

What are the deadlines to make my decision?

You must sign a non-binding election form which indicates your intent to retire and your desired option by November 15, 2013.

Once the election form is received by Elaine Vance, a Voluntary Retirement Agreement will be drafted for your signature which will outline the terms of your separation and retirement from the University. The Voluntary Retirement Agreement must be picked up by November 22, 2013.  This legally binding agreement should be signed and hand-delivered to Human Resources no later than December 13, 2013.

Why were these dates selected?

For accounting reasons we need to follow the announced dates so the impact will occur within the current fiscal year. We believe we have provided sufficient time for eligible individuals to obtain information from Human Resources Services and advice from their private advisors as necessary.

Where do I find the election form?

The form is available on the Human Resources web page at this link or in the main Human Resources Services Office (College Hall, Room 106).  The election form may be returned directly to Elaine Vance in College Hall, Room 115 or sent through email as a PDF attachment.

If I retire under the Voluntary Retirement Agreement can I be rehired at a later date?

You may not be rehired into a regular full-time or part-time status appointment. Temporary appointments, such as an adjunct faculty, will follow the regulations for re-employed annuitants as required by the Office of Personnel Management.

Who may I contact for more information or retirement calculations?

  • Christina Shen-Austin V/VP 202-250-2419
  • Agnes Muse VP 202-250-2942 or V x5111
  • Elaine Vance VP 202-250-2284 or V x5352

What happens to my annual and sick leave balance?

If you have an annual leave balance at the time of retirement, a lump sum payment (up to the allowable maximum) will be provided to you within 30 days of the retirement date. 

If you have a sick leave balance at the time of retirement, the balance will be added to your service time for the purpose of calculating your CSRS or FERS annuity.

What happens to my benefits?

Many benefits continue into retirement, others do not. It will be important for you to schedule an appointment with Human Resources Services before your retirement date, preferably 30 days in advance.

Will this program be offered again in the future?

There is no commitment to future incentive programs.

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