Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program (VRIP)

Program Description

INTRODUCTION

The Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program (VRIP) described in this document is being offered with the intention of supplementing efforts to reduce expenditures to meet anticipated future revenue reductions, to provide funds for other needed priorities,and to free-up positions.

This program places the decision-making about their futures with the eligible employees, for it will be those individual employees who decide whether or not to participate in this program; participation is entirely voluntary.

PROGRAM AVAILABILITY

The program is available to all retirement-eligible employees.

The VRIP applies to regular status faculty, staff and teacher employees of the University and Clerc Center who will be eligible to retire under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) no later than the end of the second semester of the 2013-2014 academic year (exact dates are provided below).

This program does not apply to any faculty, staff or teachers who have been notified of separation or non-reappointment or who are covered by a separation package or have other retirement agreements. Thus this incentive program may not be used in conjunction with or in lieu of any other retirement or separation arrangements or agreements.

CSRS RETIREMENT ELIGIBILITY

Employees participating in the Civil Service Retirement System (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. 

FERS RETIREMENT ELIGIBILITY

Employees participating in the Federal Employees Retirement System (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) details:

If born...

the 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 1953-1964

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 at least 10 years of service, but with a reduced annuity.  Under the MRA+10 rules, the FERS annuity will be permanently reduced by 5% for each year the employee is under 62 (at the time of retirement). 

 
INCENTIVE PROGRAM DETAILS

Employees eligible to retire on or before the dates indicated below may elect one of the voluntary retirement incentives listed below. Note that options are listed separately for: University Faculty, University and Clerc Center Staff, and Clerc Center Teachers.

University Faculty

Choice 1:   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

Choice 2:  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.

 
University and Clerc Center Staff

Choice 1:   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 June 30, 2014.

OR

Choice 2:  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.

 
Clerc Center Teachers

Choice 1:   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

Choice 2:  A lump sum payment equivalent to one-half 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.

Special Exception

Employees who are ineligible to retire during the incentive window (e.g. on or before June 30, 2013) may also apply for six months or one semester of administrative leave, whichever is applicable.  In this case, the employee must be eligible to retire on or before December 31, 2014.  After the administrative leave ends the employee would be required to use annual leave or leave without pay to remain on the payroll until the eligibility date of retirement.

 
TIMING AND REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

The VRIP will be offered one time with the timing described below. There is no commitment to, or current plans to, offer future incentive programs.

Participation is a multi-step process as below. Please note that the agreement becomes legally binding at step 3 below, not before. Also note that upon request, retirement annuity calculations and other information can be provided by the Human Resources Services office. Employees may contact Christina Shen-Austin (V/VP 202-250-2419), Agnes Muse (VP 202-250-2942, V 202-651-5352), or Elaine Vance (VP 202-250-2284, V 202-651-5352) for retirement calculations.

  1. November 15, 2013. Employees interested in participating will be required to sign an "intent to elect the VRIP program" form by November 15, 2013. Please submit signed forms by close of business on that date to Elaine Vance, Director of Human Resources Services, in College Hall, Room 115. This is non-binding form. Signed forms may be delivered in person or sent through email as a PDF attachment to elaine.vance@gallaudet.edu.

  2. November 22, 2013. By close of business on this date, those who have submitted the "intent to elect the VRIP program" form must obtain personalized voluntary retirement agreement forms from Elaine Vance.

The following form will be available for you to study, to obtain additional information from the Human Resources Services department, to consult with non-Gallaudet outside individuals to whom you may turn for advice. 

  1. December 13, 2013. To participate in the program, original signed voluntary retirement agreement forms, which are legally binding, must be submitted by close of business on this date; no forms will be accepted after this deadline. Original forms, not photocopies, must be hand-delivered (not sent through interoffice mail and not sent through email attachments) to Human Resources in College Hall room 106. This agreement is irrevocable after 7 days once it is signed and submitted.   

OBTAINING YOUR ANNUITY

A federal retirement annuity is not automatic. In addition to the forms listed just above, you must complete the Application for Immediate Retirement form as required by the Office of Personnel Management.  If you will be participating in the VRIP program, please make an appointment with the Human Resources Services Office to receive and complete the forms once a retirement date is determined. It is preferred that your forms are completed thirty days in advance of the retirement date.

RETIREE BENEFITS AND REHIRING OPTIONS

It will be important to schedule an appointment with a member of the Human Resources Services office to go over the dispositions of your benefits. Please contact Christina Shen-Austin, Agnes Muse, or Elaine Vance to set up an appointment.  Many benefits may continue into retirement, some do not. You should schedule this appointment before your signed voluntary retirement agreement form is finalized by signatures.

Employees who participate in this program cannot be rehired into a full-time or part-time regular 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.

ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE

If employees have an annual leave balance at the time of retirement, a lump sum payment (up to the allowable maximum) will be provided within 30 days of the retirement date.  If employees have a sick leave balance at the time of retirement, the balance will be added to their service time for the purpose of calculating their CSRS or FERS annuity.

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