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Office of Academic Affairs

1000 E. University Ave

Dept. 3302

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307 766-4286

Fax: 307 766-2606

Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) FAQs

More FAQs will be added as we field questions.  Please check back!

  1. Where can I get information about the VSIP and whether I meet the eligibility requirements?
    • Refer to www.uwyo.edu/acadaffairs/vsip or contact the Office of Academic Affairs at vsip@uwyo.edu or 766-4286 for information about the VSIP, including required forms, and questions about whether you meet the eligibility requirements.
    • Contact Eric Goldenstein, Human Resources Associate Director, Benefits, at epgold@uwyo.edu or 766-2437 with questions about retirement and insurance benefits.

VSIP Information

  1. Who is eligible to apply under the VSIP?
    • Eligible participants will be limited to those academic personnel whose positions are provided for in the University’s agency 067 budget who: (1) currently hold tenure track and clinical faculty positions or extended term positions, and (2) have been employed in benefited positions at the University of Wyoming for at least 20 years as of August 22, 2017 (for Academic Year employees) or August 31, 2017 (for Fiscal Year employees).  Years of employment do not have to be consecutive.
  2. Do I qualify if I have been employed in a benefited position for 20 years but I haven’t been in a tenure track or extended term position for the entire period?
    • Yes.  Eligibility is determined by your current position (i.e., tenure track or extended term).  Eligibility does not hinge on the number of years you have held the tenure track or extended term position.  For example, an Extended Term AP Lecturer who was employed as a benefited Non-Extended Term Lecturer for 15 years and then in an Extended Term position for the past 5 years would qualify.
  3. Do I qualify if my 20 years of employment is comprised of a combination of non-benefited and benefited positions?
    • No.  Eligibility hinges on 20 years of employment in benefited position(s). For example, an Extended Term AP Extension Educator who was employed for 5 years as a non-benefited Extension Educator and 15 years as a benefited, Extended Term Extension Educator would not qualify.  In contrast, the Extension Educator who was employed for 5 years in a benefited, non-extended term position and the last 15 years in a benefited, extended term position would qualify.
  4. What is the deadline for submitting an application?
    • Midnight on February 1, 2017.
  5. Will all applications be approved?
    • No.  Approval must meet the needs of the University as determined by departmental and college administration, and ultimately is the decision of the Provost.
  6. When must my last work day be in order to be considered?
    • Between May 15, 2017 and August 22, 2017 (if academic year employee) or August 31, 2017 (if fiscal year employee).
  7. What would be the amount of the incentive pay?
    • If you have an academic year appointment, you would receive a one-time payment of your nine-month budgeted salary as of September 1, 2016 (full annual salary).  If you have a fiscal year appointment, your one-time payment would consist of 9/12ths of your budgeted annual salary as of September 1, 2016.
    • The maximum one-time payment would be $150,000 and the calculation is on base salary.
  8. Does the incentive pay include supplemental pay for J-term or summer session?
    • No.  Supplemental salary is not included in the one-time payment.
  9. Is the incentive payment taxable?
    • Yes. All required deductions and taxes will be withheld.
  10. When will I be notified about whether my application is approved?
    • No later than March 27, 2017.
  11. What happens to my unused accrued vacation and sick leave if my application is approved?
    • You will be paid for any unused vacation in accordance with University regulations. It will be your choice to receive it in a lump sum or as terminal leave.
    • Your unused sick leave balance will be calculated on your last work day. You have three options for unused sick leave:
      • Convert up to 960 hours to a UW-paid contribution for group health insurance up to a maximum of 36 months,
      • Receive a one-time payment for ½ of your current balance up to a maximum of 480 hours, or
      • Terminal leave for ½ of your current balance up to a maximum of 480 hours
  12. Why does the VSIP application form include a question about retirement plans?
    • This question was included to help HR be prepared in advance to assist you with your retirement if you are admitted into the program. Your response to this question will have no impact on admission to the program.
  13. If admitted to the VSIP, when will I receive the one-time payment?
    • The month you receive your one-time payment depends on your type of appointment (FY/AY) and which benefit option you choose (see below). In addition to sick leave options, the timeline for FY employees to receive the one-time payment depends on vacation leave balance (see below).
      • If you are on a 9-month (AY) appointment,
        1. and choose to up to 960 hours of accrued sick leave to a UW paid contribution for group health insurance up to a maximum of 36 months:
          • You will receive the one-time payment with your last paycheck – this is the paycheck you receive in August, 2017 for the balance of your Academic Year 16-17 contract.
        2. and choose the lump sum payment for ½ of the current sick leave balance as of the employee’s last working day up to a maximum of 480 hours:
          • You will receive the one-time payment with your last paycheck – this is the paycheck you receive in August, 2017 for the balance of your Academic Year 16-17 contract.
        3. And chose terminal leave for ½ of the current sick leave balance as of the employee’s last working day up to a maximum of 480 hours:
          • You will receive the one-time payment at the end of the last month of terminal leave. (For example, if your last day of terminal leave is October 15, 2017, you would receive your one-time payment at the end of October, 2017).
      • If you are on a 12-month (FY) appointment,
        1. and choose to up to 960 hours of accrued sick leave to a UW paid contribution for group health insurance up to a maximum of 36 months and choose lump sum for the vacation balance as of the employee’s last working day up to a maximum of 352 hours:
          • You will receive the one-time payment with your last paycheck – this is the paycheck you receive after your last working day.
        2. and choose to up to 960 hours of accrued sick leave to a UW paid contribution for group health insurance up to a maximum of 36 months and choose terminal leave for the vacation balance as of the employee’s last working day up to a maximum of 352 hours:
          • You will receive the one-time payment at the end of the last month of terminal leave. (For example, if your last day of terminal leave is October 15, 2017, you would receive your one-time payment at the end of October, 2017).
        3. and choose the lump sum payment for ½ of the current sick leave balance as of the employee’s last working day up to a maximum of 480 hours and choose lump sum for the vacation balance as of the employee’s last working day up to a maximum of 352 hours:
          • You will receive the one-time payment with your last paycheck – this is the paycheck you receive after your last working day.
        4. and choose the lump sum payment for ½ of the current sick leave balance as of the employee’s last working day up to a maximum of 480 hours and choose terminal leave for the vacation balance as of the employee’s last working day up to a maximum of 352 hours:
          • You will receive the one-time payment at the end of the last month of terminal leave. (For example, if your last day of terminal leave is October 15, 2017, you would receive your one-time payment at the end of October, 2017).
        5. and chose terminal leave for ½ of the current sick leave balance as of the employee’s last working day up to a maximum of 480 hours and choose lump sum for the vacation balance as of the employee’s last working day up to a maximum of 352 hours:
          • You will receive the one-time payment at the end of the last month of terminal leave. (For example, if your last day of terminal leave is October 15, 2017, you would receive your one-time payment at the end of October, 2017).
        6. and chose terminal leave for ½ of the current sick leave balance as of the employee’s last working day up to a maximum of 480 hours and choose terminal leave for the vacation balance as of the employee’s last working day up to a maximum of 352 hours:
          • You will receive the one-time payment at the end of the last month of the total terminal leave. (For example, if your last day of terminal leave is January 5, 2018, you would receive your one-time payment at the end of January, 2018).
  14. Will the delay in notification of admission to VSIP impact my separation date?
    • No. If admitted into the program, this delay in notification will not impact your separation date (i.e., first possible separation date – May 15; Last possible separation date – August 22 [AY employees], August 31 [FY employees]).

Retirement and Insurance Benefits Information

  1. If my retirement plan is with the Wyoming Retirement System (WRS), how do I determine my retirement benefit?
    • Log in to your RAIN account and request an estimate, or contact WRS at (307) 777-7691.
  2. How do I get advice about my TIAA accounts?
    • Contact an advisor at (800) 842-2776, or make an appointment for an on-campus meeting by calling (800) 732-8353.
  3. Will I be eligible for retiree insurance?
    • Yes, if you are at least 50 years old and have participated in the employee insurance for 4 or more years.
  4. Is enrollment in retiree insurance automatic?
    • No. Prior to your employee coverage ending, you will need to contact the UW Benefits Office and complete applications.
  5. Do I need to enroll in Medicare?
    • If you are 65 years old or more when you leave your employment, you need to enroll in Medicare Parts A & B as your primary coverage. Retiree options for coverage through the University will be secondary or supplemental to Medicare. Medicare Part A is free hospitalization coverage and Part B is physician services and outpatient services. Medicare Part B requires a monthly premium. Enrollment can be done online at medicare.gov or by contacting the Cheyenne office at (866) 336-7580.
  6. Do I also need to enroll in Medicare Part D?
    • If you are 65 or older and eligible for retiree health insurance through the University, you can choose a health plan that includes a Part D prescription drug plan, or one that does not. If you choose one that does not, you will need to enroll in one through an insurance company.
  7. Can I make tax-deferred contributions to supplemental retirement accounts from the VSIP payment?
    • Yes, tax-deferred contributions can be made to your supplemental retirement accounts from the VSIP one-time payment providing you have not already contributed the IRS annual maximum and subject to plan requirements and limitations. For more information, contact Sheralyn Farnham at 766-3558, farnham@uwyo.edu; or Berni Casas at 766-3421, bcasas@uwyo.edu.
  8. Will the UW Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan (VSIP) be impacted if the 2017 Wyoming State Legislature adopts Senate File 95 (Early Retirement)?
    • Most likely not. An amendment to Senate File 95 excludes employees of the University of Wyoming, any Wyoming community college or K-12. The timeline for notifying applicants of their admission to the VSIP remains as published. We do not expect UW employees to be brought back into the bill. However, it is important to note any state retirement incentive passed during the 2017 session which is applicable to UW could require changes to the VSIP, including timelines for notification and execution of separation agreements.
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Voluntary Separation Incentive Program



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Office of Academic Affairs

1000 E. University Ave

Dept. 3302

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307 766-4286

Fax: 307 766-2606

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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