Government’s Publisher to Offer Buyouts, Early Outs to Employees This Fall

United States Government Printing Office file photo

The Government Printing Office plans to offer buyouts and early retirement to employees in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 to help the agency save money.

GPO wants to reduce 5 percent of its 1,850-person workforce, about 100 positions. The agency, which is asking Congress and the Office of Personnel Management for the authority to offer buyouts and early outs, will conduct the offers from Oct. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31 to apply the savings to 2015.

To be eligible for a Voluntary Early Retirement Authorization (early out), employees must have 20 years of service and be at least 50 years old, or have at least 25 years of service -- this applies to those covered under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System. Buyouts, or Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments, are cash incentives of up to $25,000 for eligible employees and can be offered along with an early out or separately.

GPO increasingly has shifted toward digital publishing, phasing out the publication of print products.

“Unlike most federal agencies, GPO operates like a business, covering most of its costs through the income we earn for the provision of information products and services,” said Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks in a statement. “As the government’s publisher, we’re committed to ensuring that our staffing and other requirements match our customers’ needs in this digital age.”

GPO last offered employees buyouts and early outs in 2011, achieving annual savings of about $24 million, according to the legislative agency.

Buyouts and early outs have not been as prevalent this year as they were in 2012 and 2013 because of sequestration taking effect. Congress partially repealed the ten-year automatic budget cuts for fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015, but agencies will be looking for ways to find savings before the reprieve is up.

The Environmental Protection Agency offered buyouts and early outs in February, while the Broadcasting Board of Governors offered the incentives most recently from April 29 through May 30. 

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