That New York Times article the other day about State Department to Offer Buyouts in Effort to Cut Staff certainly is getting a lot of attention, especially for one based entirely on what anonymous officials confirmed. So far as I can tell, no one has actually been offered a buyout yet, and those typically are offered early in October, so as to maximize the salary savings to the agency doing the buyout.
And check out the story's last paragraph. Those anonymous officials also confirmed that some classes of State employees will not be urged to retire early, but may be offered incentive bonuses to stay longer.
Some State employees will not be eligible for the buyouts, including many members of the security, information technology, medical and building staffs, areas in which the department is trying to hire more people or is offering offering bonuses for them to stay.
I haven't heard of any offers of retention incentive bonuses, either.
Assuming buyouts are actually offered, how much will they be? Office of Personnel Management rules say they can be up to $25,000:
The Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment Authority, also known as buyout authority, allows agencies that are downsizing or restructuring to offer employees lump-sum payments up to $25,000 as an incentive to voluntarily separate.
Last year, Congress boosted the buyout amount for Defense Department employees to $40,000, good through Sept. 30, 2018. The Trump administration’s budget proposal sought to increase the value of State Department buyouts $40,000 as well, but who knows whether that will happen.
It may mean nothing, but I was tipped to expect a public announcement soon, possible on November 17, about the implementation phase of the Department's reorganization plan.