When Congress created the Department of Homeland Security last year, it included several provisions giving agencies more flexibility on the human resources arena (see the link to a related article on the left hand side of this page).
Among the changes included in the authorizing statute was a provision to allow agencies to have more flexibility in giving employees an “early-out” or early retirement. OPM has now issued new interim regulations to implement this portion of the Homeland Security statute.
OPM’s interim regulations explain how an agency requests authority from OPM to offer voluntary early retirement to its employees.
The Homeland Security Act authorized agencies to offer early-outs to employees when necessary to restructure its workforce. Previously, this authority could only be given if it was necessary to reduce the size of an agency’s workforce. So, for example, if an agency has too many administrative employees and needs to hire more engineers to accomplish its mission, it may offer an early-out to the administrative employees in order to restructure its workforce. Agencies do not have the automatic authority to offer an early-out. They need to obtain approval from OPM.
The interim regulation is effective June 13, 2003. If you have written comments, send them to OPM so they are received no later than August 12, 2003. Your comments must be sent to Ellen E. Tunstall, Deputy Associate Director for Talent and Capacity Policy, OPM, Room 6500, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.