If employees are involuntarily separated from covered employment, they may be eligible for severance benefits administered by VRS.

Involuntary Separation

Employees are considered involuntarily separated if a layoff occurs because of a budget reduction, agency reorganization, workforce downsizing or other cause not related to job performance or misconduct. Employees who voluntarily resign or retire are not eligible for severance benefits.

Types of Severance

Workforce Transition Act (WTA)

For state employees.

Transitional Benefits Program

For teachers, other school employees (cafeteria workers, bus drivers and maintenance workers) and political subdivision employees if the employer has elected to participate.

Early Retirement (Special Waiver)

Employees, in the positions below, and with 20 or more years of service credit at the time of termination, may be eligible to retire with an unreduced benefit as early as age 50, if a Plan 1 member, or as early as age 60, if a Plan 2 or Hybrid Retirement Plan member.

  • Agency head appointed by the governor, a state board, commission or council
  • School superintendent
  • County, city or town manager or attorney
  • Constitutional officer (if the position is abolished)

You must certify the employee’s eligibility on the Certification of Exception from General Early Retirement Provisions (VRS-8).

Employees who retire early and later return to covered employment will be subject to the normal plan provisions for unreduced or reduced retirement, unless they are in a position that qualifies for this special case.