January 11 Update on VSIP/VERA and Excessing
FEA is gathering information from the field about the impact of DoDEA's planned increase in staffing ratios/class sizes at the middle and high school levels. We will be asking members and all supporters of sound education practices to take action in the days and weeks ahead. More will be sent out on those efforts in the near future.
FEA and DoDEA are working out details of how any employees excessed this year will be placed. Placement of excessed employees in Stateside schools (including Guam) should follow the RIF procedures included in the Master Labor Agreement between FEA-Stateside Region and DoDEA. FEA-SR will continue to meet with management over this issue and will monitor the excessing process.
Regarding placement of overseas (including Cuba) employees: two sessions to work out the excessing procedure have been held already and a third is planned for this coming Monday (Jan 14). We will get placement info out to everyone as soon as those details become available.
VERA/VSIP AND RETIREMENT INCENTIVE
On January 10, DoDEA issued memos to the field outlining details of the VERA/VSIP and retirement/resignation Early Notice Incentive (ENI) programs.
The VSIP payment is a maximum of $40,000 but could be less since it based upon the amount of severance you would receive under the standard formula used to compute severance. See below for information on how to request an estimate of what your VSIP payment would be.
The deadline to apply for VERA/VSIP or to put in for the $1,000 Early Notice Incentive is February 1.
ALREADY SUBMITTED YOUR RETIREMENT BUT INTERESTED IN VERA/VSIP?
If you had already turned in paperwork to retire this year but you are interested in and believe you are eligible to apply for VERA or VSIP, DoDEA has told us you should withdraw your retirement paperwork and apply for VERA/VSIP before the February 1 deadline. You can apply for both VERA/VSIP and the Early Notice Incentive (ENI) program but employees granted VSIP cannot also receive the $1,000 Early Notice Incentive.
OBTAINING RETIREMENT OR VSIP ESTIMATES
Estimates of retirement benefit annuities or VSIP calculations must be requested from the CHRA ‘s Army Benefits Center. Information on how to do so is included in the VERA/VSIP information sent out by DoDEA on January 10.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
The deadline to apply for VERA/VSIP and/or the $1,000 retirement/separation Early Notice Incentive is February 1. To do so, see the memos sent out by DoDEA this week.
If you are considering retirement or separation please remember that employees approved for VERA and retiring under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) are subject to an age reduction in their basic annuity benefit of 2 percent for every year they are under the age of 55. This is a permanent reduction. The annuity rate will not increase when the annuitant reaches age 55. There is no age reduction for employees covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
For additional information regarding VERA, employees should access the information in the Office of Personnel Management URL: Find that information here.
VSIP payments are treated as taxable income and there are restrictions upon who can apply as well as restrictions upon seeking reemployment by the federal government if you have received VSIP. Be sure to read the VERA/VSIP memo issued by DoDEA to learn more about those conditions and restrictions.
Retirement/separation notices submitted for the $1,000 Early Notice Incentive are irrevocable and irreversible. If you also apply for and receive VSIP you cannot also receive the ENI.
All employees should take into the account the tax impact of retiring/separating from federal service. Remember that under current tax law, the value of any transportation/shipping services or allowances you receive from the government -- such as transportation of your car/personal goods back to the United States, airfare for you and your family, etc. -- is considered taxable income. FEA/NEA continue our efforts to convince lawmakers to eliminate this unfair tax on federal employees, but for now it remains in place and you should factor this financial burden into your decision.
FEA has created a page on its Web site where we have posted DoDEA's memos on VERA/VSIP and the Early Notice Incentive. We will continue to post information on these programs as well as on placement of excessed employees to this page. That page can be found here.