Tinker VERA/VSIP survey to target maintenance positions

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla --  Some Tinker Wage Grade and General Schedule employees will be receiving a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment Survey.
Use of the VERA/VSIP at this time is strictly designed to properly align the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex workforce and workload, while maintaining the appropriate skills needed to meet customer requirements.

This round of VERA/VSIP will facilitate voluntary reduction of manning in targeted occupational series while excluding engineering series and those series not utilized in the in OC-ALC.

The VERA/VSIP is a workforce management tool that will facilitate proper attrition to the appropriate manning levels. VERA permits employees to retire earlier than otherwise eligible; and VSIP, commonly referred to as a "buyout", is a lump-sum payment or installments of up to $25,000 paid by the Department of Defense to encourage employees to leave federal service either by resignation, optional retirement or early retirement.

Employees targeted for a VERA/VSIP will receive an email in early July inviting them to participate in the survey. Employees will be required to reply to the survey during a two-week announcement period. Employees who indicate that they are not interested in VERA/VSIP or fail to reply to the survey will not be considered for a VERA/VSIP offer. Effective date is expected to be Oct. 31, 2013.

Employees' funding source will play a major role in determining which employees are eligible to be offered a VERA/VSIP. Initially, VERA/VSIP offers will only include employees occupying depot Working Capital Fund positions. If needed, and if funding is available and owning organizations agree to participate, VERA/VSIPs may be offered to employees from other funding sources, such as Operations and Maintenance, Foreign Military Sales, etc.

After the workforce has been surveyed, further analysis will be required to balance OC-ALC's manpower needs. Employees will be categorized according to their series and grade. Within each series and grade, if the number of employees interested in receiving an offer exceeds the number of offers available for approval, incentives will be offered in the following order: 1) employees eligible for optional retirement; 2) employees eligible for early retirement; and 3) employees requesting resignation. Within each group the order will be further determined by seniority based on Service Computation Date for leave.

Employees will be required to retire or resign effective Oct. 31. Retirement eligibility requirements for the Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees Retirement System are outlined below:

CSRS Voluntary Optional Age Years of Creditable Service

62 5
60 20
55 30

FERS Voluntary Optional Age Years of Creditable Service

62 5
60 20
MRA 30
*MRA 10

* If you retire at the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) with at least 10 of service, but less than 30 years of service, your benefit will be reduced by 5 percent a year for each year you are under age 62, unless you have 20 years of service and your benefit starts when you reach age 60 or later.

Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) Requirements

If you were born Your 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 through 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 and after 57

CSRS and FERS Early Optional (VERA) Age Years of Creditable Service

50 20
Any Age 25

VERA Age Penalties: CSRS employees will be penalized two percent for each year he or she is under the age of 55. There is no age reduction for employees who are covered by FERS. Some FERS employees who transferred from CSRS would have the age reduction applied to the CSRS portion of their annuity.

Employees are encouraged to fully consider their separation options. Employees should validate retirement eligibility before completing the VERA/VSIP Survey. Retirement Estimates can be obtained through the Air Force Personnel Services Employee Benefits Information System at the following link:

https://w20.afpc.randolph.af.mil/AFPCSecureNet20/CheckPortal.aspx (a PIN is required to log into EBIS). To receive retirement counseling, employees will need to contact AFPC's Benefits and Entitlements Service Team. You can obtain specific information about how to obtain a retirement estimate and/or reach a BEST counselor at AFPC's myPers website: https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil/app/home, keyword search counselor.

Keep in mind that VERA/VSIP is a management tool, not an employee entitlement. As Defense dollars become more constrained, the Air Force is seeking ways to better balance resources and answer Congress' call for reduced spending. Only permanent employees, occupying targeted series and grades, serviced by the Tinker Civilian Personnel Section, will be surveyed and considered for a VERA/VSIP offer at this time.