The Trump administration’s budget proposal seeks to boost the value of buyouts at the State Department from $25,000 to $40,000, mirroring an increase that was enacted late last year for the Defense Department.
State is one of the departments targeted for the steepest cuts in the budget, although much of the cut would come from overseas aid funding, which would not translate into an equivalent cut in the workforce. However, the department has warned its employees that job-cutting could be ahead, both from budgetary pressures and from the directive for agencies to review their operations for potential greater efficiency.
The buyout-boosting proposal is in a section of the budget dealing with the State Department and apparently would apply only there. However, other agencies are facing potential downsizing as well, and the idea could be expanded as the budget process moves forward.
The increase at DoD came at that department’s recommendation, based on its assessment that the $25,000 pre-tax amount–which has not changed since buyouts first were authorized during the Clinton administration–is no longer a sufficient lure for employees to leave.
The original recommendation was to raise the amount government-wide. However, Congress agreed to the boost only for DoD–which would come out well ahead in the Trump budget and thus would have less incentive to pay buyouts–and only through fiscal 2018. Even with those restrictions, there has been an expectation that the higher amount for DoD set a precedent for a similar boost elsewhere.