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Voluntary separation, retirement continues

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- More than 1,100 Ogden Air Logistics Center employees have submitted on-line applications to retire or separate from Air Force service under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority or Voluntary Separation Incentive Program announced here in July.

Long-time civil service employees applying for the authority could earn up to $25,000 pre-tax when their service ends no later than Oct. 1, if they meet all of the eligibility criteria and are selected for the program. These requirements differ for Civil Service Retirement System employees and Federal Employee Retirement System employees.

"We always expect a very large number of interested applicants but also realize that many employees will likely change their mind as they calculate their retirement estimates," said Ms. Barbara Hanlin, deputy director of Personnel Directorate.

Ms. Hanlin said Hill managers are using this VERA and VSIP to prepare for future workforce needs and to minimize the impact of any projected force reductions.

She added, "Right now the Personnel Directorate's staff is sorting through the data received by the Aug. 2008 closing date."

"Commanders and directors will be making some tough decisions in the coming weeks. Some very experienced employees will be permitted to leave our employment rolls where others can't be let go because of mission requirements. They will make an assessment of the positions they can release without hurting our overall mission. Managers must balance between having a sufficient number of qualified workers available to meet our missions with the anticipated income to pay those workers next year," said Ms. Hanlin. "We just don't know yet how many people will actually be offered the incentives."

There is no guarantee that everyone who applies for VERA or VSIP will be approved. No formal action can be taken until approval is received and an offer is made from the Civilian Personnel Office.

Eligible employees outside of operations and maintenance and depot maintenance activity group funded positions were also encouraged to apply and may represent a portion of Hill's employees who will be offered VERA/VSIP. Approval for these employees to participate would be contingent on the placement of a qualified O and M employee into their vacant position and will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Hill's Personnel Division staff will compile applications, identify and approve candidates from Aug. 9 through Sep. 1. The employee notification process and acceptance or rejection of the offers will take place Sep. 4-28. Employees will be given seven days from the offer date to accept or decline the VERA/VSIP offer.

Retirement application processing briefings will be held at Club Hill in the Falcon/Heritage rooms on Sep. 13-14. All applicants are invited to attend one of the scheduled briefings, according to his or her retirement system. Any CSRS Applicants can attend Sep. 13 from 9-11 a.m. or Sep. 14 from 1-3 p.m. Whereas, FERS applicants can attend Sep.13 from 1-3 p.m. or Sep. 14 from 9-11 a.m.

"The retirement application processing briefings are designed to give prospective retirees detailed information regarding how to complete the retirement process" said Ms. Christine Johnson, chief, Benefits and Entitlements. "To make this information accessible to everyone, the briefings will be filmed and available on the closed circuit Hill Net video as soon as possible."