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NGA offers buyouts to 150 employees

US: The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) offered buyouts to 150 employees in fiscal 2012, according to a NGA spokesman. The buyouts are ongoing and eligible workers will have until an unspecified date in February to accept them. Up to USD 25,000 will be offered to each employee.
With this initiative, the NGA joined a growing list of federal agencies giving employees incentives to leave voluntarily amid budget pressures. Recently, the Internal Revenue Service, the Agriculture Department and the Transportation Security Administration, have also offered employees buyouts or early retirements.
According to Tammy Flanagan, the senior benefits director for the National Institute of Transition Planning, the official name for a buyout is a Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (VSIP). This is “just an agency’s way of giving a further incentive to get employees to consider leaving,” Flanagan added.
They are often offered in conjunction with early retirements, or a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, also known as VERA. To be eligible for early retirement, an employee must be at least 50 years old with 20 years of service. Employees with 25 years of service can be younger than 50 and still be eligible for a VERA.
Both buyouts and early retirements offer the same general benefit: Usually, a USD 25,000 payment, which, after taxes, rounds out to about USD 16,000- USD 17,000.
Source: www.govexec.com & www.federalnewsradio.com