Frequently Asked Questions
General Program Information
- What is the Early Exit Program (EEP)?
The EEP is a voluntary program designed to create an incentive for CalPERS retirement eligible employees.
- Is retirement a condition of the EEP?
No. An employee does not have to retire after separating from SJSU through the EEP. Eligibility to participate only requires that an employee be CalPERS retirement eligible, but there is no requirement to retire. However, if the employee does not retire within 120 days of exit (or become employed with another CalPERS agency), they will lose medical and dental benefits through PERS.
- What is the deadline to apply for the program?
Applications must be submitted via DocuSign by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 16.
- Will this program be offered again next year?
No. This is a one-time program only being offered in 2020.
- Do I have to participate in the program if I’m eligible?
- No. This program is strictly voluntary.
- Does my supervisor have to approve my application to participate in the program?
- If you are eligible for the program, your Appropriate Administrator (MPP) will be required to acknowledge your application. They will also be required to identify whether or not your participation will impact critical operations in your department which may extend resignation date.
- If I participate in this program, may I return to campus to work as a Retired Annuitant?
- If I participate in this program and do not retire, may I return to another position
at SJSU or another CSU campus?
Employees will be prohibited from accepting employment for another position with SJSU for 18 months from the date of separation. This time period does not apply to retired annuitant positions, which will adhere to time periods determined by CalPERs provisions. Please review the CalPERS Retired Annuitant guidelines and CalPERS Circular [pdf] for more information.
- Why is only SJSU service included?
- As this is an SJSU-specific program, not a system-wide program, only service earned at this institution is included.
- Why are there caps on how many people can participate in the program?
- In order to ensure that critical operations of departments can continue, it was necessary to cap the number of participants.
- What are the caps and how were they determined?
In order to balance operational needs, applications will be processed with a cap of 20% per bargaining unit/employee category. Applicants beyond 20% in any bargaining unit/employee category will be accepted at the discretion of management. Bargaining units/employee categories with caps are as follows:
C99 (Confidential): 1
M80 (Administrators/MPP): 11
R01 (UAPD): 1
R02 (CSUEU): 2
R03 (CFA): 61
R04 (APC): 2
R05 (CSUEU): 8
R06 (Teamsters): 5
R07 (CSUEU): 9
R08 (SUPA): 1
R09 (CSUEU): 29
If someone in my department participates in this program, will we be able to refill
- Departments may request to refill positions once they are vacated. Due to the current hiring chill, there is no guarantee that such a request will be approved.
- Will the positions vacated by those participating be frozen?
- Positions will not be frozen when vacated. Departments may request to refill the position. Due to the current hiring chill, there is no guarantee that such a request will be approved.
- Why are we offering this program but also hiring for new and vacant positions?
- This program is being offered as a way to potentially reduce employee salary expenditures and also provide an incentive to employees who have met retirement qualifications. New employees are typically hired at lower rates than those who have been in a position for many years.
- Were the unions consulted on this program?
- Yes. The University consulted with each union prior to the announcement of this program. All unions agreed to the Terms and Conditions.
- Is this program or the deadline to apply negotiable?
- No. This timeline was designed to provide an appropriate planning opportunity to both employees and managers and must be applied consistently to ensure that everyone is treated fairly.
- How is this program being funded?
- Savings as a result of the hiring chill have been earmarked for the EEP. Once these funds have been assigned to approved participants, the EEP will be closed to further applications.
- Who do I contact if I have questions?
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Who is eligible for the program?
Employees in a current SJSU state-side Management Personnel Plan (“MPP”) position or an employee in a permanent position are eligible to participate. Full-time faculty members with three-year contracts are also eligible. In addition, the employee must be eligible for retirement as of October 1, 2020, and have at least 10 years of service at SJSU. Please review the Terms and Conditions [pdf] for additional information.
- Am I eligible to participate if I’m a temporary employee?
No. Temporary employees and probationary employees are not eligible to participate in the EEP. Full-time faculty members with three-year contracts are the exception. Please review the Terms and Conditions [pdf] for additional information.
- I am currently FERPing; am I eligible to participate in this program?
No. Faculty with applications pending or currently FERPing are not eligible.
- I applied to FERP but have not yet retired or applied to retire. Am I eligible to
- No. Faculty with applications pending or currently FERPing are not eligible.
- I already applied for retirement with CalPERS, am I eligible to participate?
- Yes. Employees who have already established a retirement date are eligible for this program, provided that they comply with all Terms and Conditions [pdf].
Severance and Separation
- What is the severance package amount?
Employees will receive upwards of six months’ salary or a minimum of $25,000 (whichever is higher) up to a maximum cap of $70,000. Severance pay is calculated using an employee’s monthly base salary (prorated for employees appointed for less than full time) at the time of separation. Separation must occur on or before December 30, 2020, in most cases. Please see section 2 of the Terms and Conditions [pdf] for more information.
- How and when is the incentive going to be paid?
The severance package is divided up into two parts. Employees will earn fifty (50) percent of the calculated severance package in exchange for signing the first separation agreement after getting conditional approval to participate in the EEP. Employees must sign the final separation agreement on their last day of employment in order to earn the final fifty (50) percent of the severance package. The entire severance package (100%) shall be paid within thirty (30) calendar days after the employee signs the Final Separation Agreement and Release.
- Will I be taxed on the severance package?
Yes. The severance package is taxable income and is to be paid through the State Payroll System. This income is not considered compensation earnable for purposes of calculating CalPERS retirement benefits.
- Is there a specific date on which I need to separate?
Your separation date should be prior to December 30, 2020, but no later. A separation date in 2021 may be approved if your position is critical to department operations and the Vice President and your Appropriate Administrator approve the extension.
- I’m an AY faculty member teaching this fall. What will my exit date be if I participate
in this program?
- If you are eligible to participate in this program, your separation date will be December 18, 2020.
- Will I be allowed to keep my SJSU email address after my separation date?
- Staff and MPP employee emails will remain active for 30 days following separation. Faculty emails will remain active for 250 days following separation. If a faculty or staff member is granted emeritus status, their email will remain active indefinitely.
- Will employees with more service be considered first?
- No. Completed applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis by bargaining unit/employee category, in the order in which the applications are received.
- May I change my mind after signing the agreements to participate?
- No. An employee’s resignation is voluntary, permanent, and will be irrevocable as of the date of execution of the First Separation Agreement and Release. Further, the employee will be required to waive any rights the employee may have under any applicable law, regulation, Collective Bargaining Agreement or policy to revoke or rescind the employee’s resignation.
Benefits and CalPERS
- Is CalPERS planning on offering a "Golden Handshake/Parachute" program?
We are not aware of any CalPERS offered retirement programs, such as "Golden Handshake/Parachute".
- May I receive additional service credit, as with a Golden Handshake Incentive?
No. Golden Handshake retirement incentive is administered and directed by the Governor’s Office. SJSU does not have the authority to make service credit decisions. The EEP only provides a financial incentive.
- If I participate in this program, will my benefits continue after my separation date?
Benefits generally end following the month of separation. For example, if separation occurs on December 30, 2020, active employee benefits will end on January 31, 2021. Please contact your benefits representative for more information about your benefits.
- If I participate in this program, will my vacation balance be paid out in addition
to the severance?
Yes. Your vacation accruals will be paid in your final check.
- Does the severance package count toward CalPERS benefits?
- No. This income is not considered compensation earnable for purposes of calculating CalPERS retirement benefits.