VSIP/VERA surveys planned

4/13/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- As a continuation of the FY12 civilian workforce restructuring, the Air Force is offering a third round of Voluntary Early Retirement or Voluntary Separation Incentive.

On May 1, the majority of permanent appropriated fund civilian employees serviced by the Maxwell Civilian Personnel Section will receive a VERA/VSIP survey letter via email. Surveys from interested employees must be returned no later than May 9. The effective date of separation for applicants approved for this round is August 31.

Some categories of employees will not be included in the survey population. In accordance with Air Force direction, employees assigned to positions funded by the central salary account, re-employed annuitants and Student Career Experience Program employees will not be surveyed.

The move is part of the Air Force's continuing effort to meet the Department of Defense requirement to maintain civilian funding at fiscal 2010 levels.

"The Air Force recognizes the invaluable contributions of our civilian workforce but also recognizes the fiscal constraints under which the Department of Defense and the government as a whole are operating," said Maj. Gen. Sharon Dunbar, the director of force management policy. "We are working to balance mission needs while taking care to minimize the effect on our current permanent civilian workforce and their families."

The previous two VSIP/VERA rounds were used as a voluntary means to reduce civilian workforce levels, enabling strategic rebalancing efforts. As the Air Force continues its fiscal 2012 civilian workforce restructure, round three will be used to further realign and rebalance the civilian force.

The Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service has added flexibility to round three by granting a temporary exception to the Priority Placement Program to expand the use of VSIP across Air Force installations. This exception will allow for the reassignment of employees across installation lines to a VSIP-created vacancy. Implementing guidance on this PPP exception is under development and functional personnel guidance is forthcoming.

"Information regarding the survey process and criteria for voluntary separation incentive or early retirement is being disseminated," said Don Comstock, Maxwell civilian personnel officer. Comstock encourages interested employees to contact the Benefits and Entitlements Servicing Team at Air Force Personnel Center for information about retirement estimates, benefits, and related information in order to make informed decisions.

"I am very aware that Air Force restructuring is causing stress for employees and organizations. We are also aware that each move affects not only the wage earner but also the organization and the families of that wage earner," said Col Brian Killough, 42nd ABW commander. "As the installation host, we are committed to providing all measures of support available as we go through the workforce restructure process and we will do our very best to minimize the impact to as many employees and organizations as possible."

For local information on VERA/VSIP, contact Vida Couch at 953-7312 or Pam Hall at 953-2995. For information about civilian employment, voluntary separation programs and other personnel issues, visit the secure Air Force Personnel Service website at https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil.

Courtesy Air University Public Affairs and Air Force News Service