On Monday, July 19, 2021, the TN Department of Human Resources began to notify employees of their eligibility to participate in the Voluntary Separation Program (also known as the buy-out). Eligible employees whose application is approved will receive a lump-sum payment and will separate from state government. The VSP is not available to all employees; if you do not receive an invitation, you are not eligible. If you qualify, you have already received or will receive an email invitation from DOHR notifying you of your eligibility and including instructions on applying.
“The VSP represents a unique opportunity for eligible employees who feel it is the right time for them to leave state government to pursue other opportunities,” DOHR said in a communication to employees. “Participation in this program is voluntary and you should review the materials provided on the VSP website thoroughly before making your decision.”
Invites to the program are based on positions identified by each department during the state fiscal year 2020 as “opportunities to reduce administrative layers and align employees to mission critical roles.” Not all employees who apply will be accepted. In addition, employees cannot volunteer to apply for the VSP; only those employees who receive an eligibility notification email from DOHR can apply.
VSP program general overview (please visit the state intranet for full details)
VSP Eligible employees accepted to the program will receive the following:
- Five (5) months of pay at the rate of pay in effect on the employee separation date, with all taxes applied like ordinary income.
- Advanced Longevity Pay, if eligible.
- Payment for unused annual leave and compensatory time.
- $6000 payment to assist in medical coverage. (NOTE: the VSP does not provide continuation in the state plan. If you are currently enrolled in the state plan, you may elect to continue coverage as a retiree if you meet the eligibility criteria)
- Employees who accept the buy-out cannot return to state service for five years.
The deadline for eligible employees to submit their application forms to DOHR is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 6, 2021. Accepted employees will be notified on October 7, 2021, and will work their last day for the state on October 29, 2021. DOHR will distribute payments on November 30, 2021.
As a resource for VSP-eligible employees, DOHR’s Legal Team is offering a Virtual Townhall information session to answer questions on Friday, July 23 at 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CST (If you are a VSP-Eligible employee, an MS Teams invitation to the Townhall meeting is included in your invitation email from DOHR).
DOHR has a Voluntary Separation Program page on the TeamTN.gov website here: https://www.teamtn.gov/hr/vsp.html This page includes a VSP program overview, a list of eligible classifications and criteria, FAQs, and other information.
If you have additional questions not answered above, you can reach DOHR at VoluntarySeparation.Program@tn.gov, or contact the Department of Human Resources HR Service Center at 615-741-4841. As we learn more information, we will publish those details.