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News Release

Sunday, January 30, 2005
Contact: Edmund Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Issues Final Regulations on Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments

Washington, DC- U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James has issued the final regulations on voluntary separation incentive payments (VSIP), also known as "buyouts." The incentives authorized by these regulations provide agencies with another option to minimize involuntary separations resulting from organizational change.

"These regulations help achieve President George W. Bush's goal of providing federal managers with state of the art staffing tools to create an efficient yet responsive federal workforce," said James.

The President's strategic management of human capital calls for a transformation in the employment, deployment, development, and evaluation of the federal workforce with results in mind. The VSIP regulations make it easier for agencies to respond quickly and retool their staffs with employees who possess the skills, knowledge, or similar factors needed to perform a position. Under the regulations, most non-Defense executive branch agencies may, at their option, offer voluntary separation incentive payments to employees who separate by voluntary retirement or by resignation in a downsizing, reshaping, restructuring, or similar situation.

Before offering separation incentives to their employees, agencies must first obtain approval from OPM, with concurrence from the Office of Management and Budget. Agencies may then offer employees who agree to voluntarily separate a lump sum payment equal to what they would get in severance pay, or an amount to be determined by the agency up to $25,000, whichever is less.
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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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