Thousands Being Offered Thousands To Leave DoD Work Force
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2004 Up to 25,000 Defense Department civilians may be eligible for thousands of dollars in separation pay through an early-buyout program.
The program is part of the 2004 National Defense Authorization Act.
On Dec. 30, Ginger Groeber, deputy undersecretary of defense for civilian personnel policy, allocated 25,000 buyouts to defense components to pay eligible departing employees up to $25,000 if they choose to leave their jobs early.
She said the program is available for permanent hires, which includes workers not on time-limited appointments such as temporary appointments or those with a specified end date to their employment, and is available to both appropriated and nonappropriated fund personnel.
The program has no age limitation, but workers must have worked for the Defense Department for at least 12 months before accepting a buyout. They must also be U.S. citizens, Groeber said.
Not all workers will get the $25,000 maximum payment, she said. The buyout is the lesser of $25,000 or what the employee would receive in severance pay.
Groeber said the program's primary beneficiaries are employees who work at facilities the Defense Department expects to close, or at locations where there is a change in the military mission. She said that while the buyout will help DoD to minimize its work force at commands and organizations that are downsizing or restructuring, it also may allow the department to offer a substantial sum of money to workers forced out of their jobs through the separation process.
The deputy undersecretary added that the buyout comes at an important time, especially with the next round of base realignment and closures expected to begin in 2005.
Groeber said buyouts were very effective in the 1990s, when the government closed several bases and installations, providing a more cost-effective and humane alternative to reductions in force Employees interested in buyouts should contact their component civilian personnel offices.