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NEWS | Dec. 27, 2013

Requirements for Voluntarily Separation Program

By Chief Master Sgt. Robert Valenca 628th Air Base Wing acting command chief

The Air Force is continuing to release information on the upcoming force management changes that are designed to reduce our force by approximately 25,000 officers and enlisted Airmen over the next five years. The latest announcement provided insight into the requirements for the Voluntarily Separation Program and the monetary compensation that can be expected if you take it. This program is targeted to Airmen in specific overage career fields who are selected to meet the enlisted retention boards and will reach at least six years of service by Jan. 31, 2015.

If Airmen already have six years of service by the time they meet the retention board, then--if chosen for separation--their separation date will be Sept. 29, 2014. If an Airmen is selected to meet the board, but does not reach six years until after Sept. 29 they may still accept the VSP and their separation date will be set between Sept. 30, 2014 to Jan. 31, 2015 to match the date when they will reach exactly six years of service.

The primary advantage to the VSP program will be the amount of separation pay that an Airman will receive. If you go to the enlisted retention board and are selected for separation you will receive your monthly base pay multiplied by 12, then multiplied by your years of total active federal military service with the addition of any whole months served over the total years. Then this is multiplied by 10 percent to provide the full separation pay someone who was not retained by the board will receive. An example below taken from the Personnel Service Delivery Memorandum on the subject shows how this will compute out for a 12-year staff sergeant that met the board and was not retained.

Full Separation Pay Example: A Staff Sergeant wtih 12 years and 3 months and 13 days of total active federal military service [($3095.00 monthly base pay) x 12 years x 147 (total whole months served) x (10%)] divided by 12 = $45,496.50.

(Please note in the example above the reason it is then divided out by 12 at the end is to account for additional months. If an Airman had been in for exactly 12 years, or 144 months, then the formula would simply be $3095 x 144 then divided by 10% giving the Staff Sergeant $44,568 in separation pay.)

However, if the same Staff Sergeant were to take the VSP instead of selecting to meet the board then their pay would be computed slightly different. As a benefit for selecting to accept VSP instead of meeting the board they would receive an additional 1.25 multiplier added on to their separation pay. Using the exact same information above in this scenario the Staff Sergeant would receive an additional $11,374.12 in separation pay. Again an example for the Air Force Personnel Center PSDM illustrating the separation pay break down is below.

Voluntary Separation Pay Example: A Staff Sergeant w/ 12 yrs and 3 months and 13 days of total active federal military service [$3095.00 (monthly base pay) x 12 years x 147 (total whole months served) x (10%)] divided by 12 x 1.25 times multiplier = $56,870.62.

As with all of the force management programs there are several requirements Airmen must meet in order to be eligible. It is imperative that anyone who thinks they may be eligible for this program follow the link at the bottom and read the entire PSDM on the subject and then sit down with your leadership to help make a decision on how exactly these programs will affect you. The site below also has the listing of all ranks and career fields that are eligible for this program. Additionally, the Military Personnel Section and the Airmen and Family Readiness office are both great resources during these transitions. It is vital every Airmen takes ownership of the process and researches the information themselves so they are fully informed on these changes.