OPM Seal

U. S. Office of Personnel Management

New Legislation on
Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments
for Certain Federal Agencies

Downloadable Files:

Guide to Implementing Voluntary Separation Incentive Programs Under Public Law 104-208

The Employee's Guide to Buyouts Under Public Law 104-208 OMB Bulletin No. 97-02 of October 24, 1996, Voluntary Separation Incentives for Employees of Certain Federal Agencies

On September 30, 1996, the President signed Public Law 104-208. Section 663 of that law provides targeted buyout authority for most Executive nonDefense departments and agencies. This package provides guidance developed by the Office of Personnel Management in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget and agencies for implementing the program and answering technical questions related to the law.

This new legislation contains many of the flexibilities and provisions of the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-226). However, there are significant differences in the two programs. We have tried to clarify any differences and, where warranted, identify contrasts between the two incentive laws.

It is important to note that, although this law makes buyouts generally available to most Executive departments and agencies, the law prohibits the use of incentives until a detailed agency plan is submitted to the House and Senate Appropriations committees and the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight and the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. Agencies wishing to use incentives are urged to work closely with the agency's Office of Management and Budget representative to develop these plans. All plans must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget before they are sent to the required Congressional committees.

This guidance contains a copy of the text of section 663, P.L. 104-208, an overview of the legislation, a comparison of the new legislation to the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act of 1994, OPM's Guide to Implementing Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments Programs Under P.L. 104-208, as well as a new "Employee's Guide to Buyouts Under Public Law 104-208," sample documents, and more.

Downsizing information is also available on the World Wide Web at a new site called "Planning Your Future -- A Federal Employee's Survival Guide." You can access this site on the Internet at <http://safetynet.doleta.gov/>.

We urge you to make use of these flexible and accessible resources not only for buyout information, but for finding resources quickly, and efficiently. As always, OPM's Workforce Restructuring Office is available to assist you with any questions related to downsizing programs. You may contact the Office at 202-606-0960, by fax at 202-606-2329, or call the Restructuring Hotline at 202-606-2425.

Updated 23 January 1998