Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP)

 

Georgia Tech’s Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) offers a one-time, limited, separation incentive for eligible employees. Navigate through the menu below for more details
 

Purpose

The purpose of Georgia Tech’s Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) is to offer a one-time, limited, separation incentive for eligible employees, in order to:

  • Reduce the potential number of reductions-in-force or layoffs;
  • Reduce the Institute’s salary and benefit obligations in anticipation of reduced state funding;
  • Reallocate resources to departments and programs in response to changing needs or strategic objectives; and
  • Achieve other cost savings or efficiencies.

This VSIP is intended to supplement the range of budget management options available, and nothing in this policy shall be construed to create an employee right or entitlement to this or any separation incentive.

This program is voluntary and no eligible employee should be discouraged from participating or coerced to participate in this program.

All employees are encouraged to schedule a retirement counseling session with Georgia Tech Human Resources. To make an appointment with a retirement counselor visit hr.gatech.edu/contact-us.
 

Retirement Information Session

Georgia Tech's Retirement Program Manager, Jim Wallace outlines the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program and process. 

Click here to view the recording.

Eligibility Requirements

VSIP is not an “early retirement” program by which employees can retire before they would otherwise be eligible.

In order to be eligible for this program, the employee must meet one of the retirement eligibility requirements under BOR Policy 8.2.8.2 on the retirement date they declare. According to this BOR policy, those requirements are:

  1. An employee must have been employed by the University System of Georgia (USG) for the last 10 years in a regular, benefited position and have attained age 60; or
  2. An employee must have at least 25 total years of benefited service established with a State of Georgia sponsored retirement plan, of which the last five years of employment must have been continuous and with the USG. An early pension benefit penalty will apply to an individual who elects to participate in Teachers Retirement System (TRS) or Employees Retirement System (ERS) if he or she decides to retire with between 25 and 30 years of benefited service, prior to attaining age 60; or
  3. An employee must have at least 30 total years of benefited service established with a State of Georgia sponsored retirement plan, of which the last five years must have been continuous and with the USG; or,
  4. An employee must be deemed to be totally and permanently disabled, as documented through the receipt of disability benefits from Social Security or from TRS following 10 years of continuous service to the USG in a regular, benefited position.

This program is open to employees who have provided written notice of intent to retire after May 15, 2020, as long as the employee has not yet separated from the Institute at the time of their application for participation in this Program. The Voluntary Separation Review Committee will review each request for approval. After approval of the application, the employee must sign the Voluntary Separation Incentive Agreement and Release and certify the retirement date. Once the agreement is final, the employee will not be allowed to rescind it.

VSIP is a one-time-only offer and is designed to address current circumstances.

Employees ineligible for the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program include:

  • Employees who have retired or resigned on or before July 1, 2020.
  • Employees with base salaries funded 50% or more by sponsored or grant funds.

Terms of the Voluntary Separation Incentive

Employees who qualify and are approved for Voluntary Separation must sign the VSIP agreement and would be exempt from furlough, layoffs, and reductions in force until their retirement date. Georgia Tech reserves the right to deny participation to employees. 

Retirement Incentive Payment: Approved participants who sign the VSIP agreement will receive a taxable cash payment direct deposited to their account within 45 days after their retirement date. The incentive payment will be the equivalent of four (4) months of the employee’s salary (not including payments such as overload, overtime, weekend/shift/night differential, standby pay, summer salary, or a temporary pay for additional duties) in effect on the last day of employment.

Healthcare Eligibility in Retirement: In accordance with USG policy, employees must be enrolled in a USG employee health insurance plan at the time that they retire in order to be eligible for USG health insurance benefits during retirement. For those who are 65 years old or over, they must be enrolled in Medicare Part B to be eligible for healthcare benefits in retirement. 

Last Day of Work:  The last day of work for employees who retire under this Program is no later than December 31, 2020.  Please note that any employee participating in the TRS Retirement Program must retire on the 1st of a month after they have worked or been on paid leave any days.

All rights and obligations described in USG and Institute policies and procedures remain unaffected by this Program and will continue to apply regardless of an employee’s application or participation.
 

Program Implementation Timeline

Program Election Steps

To apply for the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program, eligible employees should do the following:

  1. Inform their supervisor, in writing or by email, of their intention to apply (so that supervisors can plan accordingly). 
  2. Complete the Voluntary Separation Incentive Application Form.  
  3. The Georgia Tech VSIP Committee will review all applications and notify employees of next steps.
  4. If approved, the employee will receive a VSIP Agreement and Release to sign.  
    Once the VSIP Agreement and Release form is submitted, an employee will have seven calendar days to change their mind and revoke their request. However, at the end of the seven-day period following submission, the employee’s decision to participate in VSIP will be irrevocable.  

The Institute reserves the right to decline any application and/or stagger departure dates based on its operational needs. Georgia Tech reserves the right to limit the total number of applicants approved for reasons including, but not limited to, continuing our core mission, preserving the stability of current and future programs and services, and meeting the needs of our students.

In order to effectively manage workforce strategy, once a Voluntary Separation is approved, the committee and GTHR will work with each unit to navigate transitions, assist with knowledge transfer, appropriate backfill, and minimize disruption to productivity.
 

Working After Retirement

Individuals who agree to early retirement terms will be subject to the provisions of BOR Policy 8.2.8.3, Working after Retirement. A rehired retiree must have a minimum break of at least one month between the effective date of their retirement and the effective date of their employment. There will be no exceptions to this policy and there must be no agreements entered between manager and retiree to work after retirement until this condition has been met.

Employees (including faculty) who are approved to participate in this program will be ineligible to work after retirement for the remainder of fiscal year 2021. Exceptions to the fiscal year work ineligibility may be granted by an Executive Vice President of the Institute (Provost, EVPR, EVP-A&F) only after conditions noted within BOR Policy 8.2.8.3, Working after Retirement have been met.