MCC Daily Tribune

Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan Reopened

Earlier in the fall semester, the College provided Faculty Association members with the opportunity to participate in a Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan (the "VSIP"). This plan was approved by the Board of Trustees, who agreed to allocate up to $4 million from the College's fund balance for benefits under the plan. The College's objective in offering the VSIP was to align the number of teaching faculty and non-teaching professionals with the College's enrollment and to bring expenditures in line with resources.

When the College introduced the VSIP to those employees who were eligible to participate in the Plan, several questions arose and there appeared to be some confusion regarding the purpose of the plan and the benefits available under the plan. Many eligible employees expressed concern that this was a "separation incentive" and not a "retirement incentive." This concern was addressed by allowing individuals to indicate, at the time of their application, whether they were separating from the College or retiring from the College.

Concerns were also raised that the College, by offering this plan, was attempting to replace or supersede the contractual rights and/or benefits of employees who would participate in the plan. In fact, the purpose of the VSIP was to provide individuals who qualified for participation on the basis of their age and years of service with a benefit that they could take with them into the next stage of their life, whether it be retirement or a new challenge: a lump sum payment equal to 2% per year of service (up to 85%) of their annual base salary and a payout of the value of 25% of the participant's accrued, unused sick leave. As with the contractual Article 50 early retirement incentive, the contribution to health insurance in retirement is pegged to the active employee contributions; this has been the standard at MCC for many years.

The College received a significant number of applications under the VSIP; however, a substantial amount of the allocation for this program remains. Several individuals have expressed regret that they missed the original window to participate in the VSIP. As a result, the College has decided to reopen the VSIP in the spring semester. The new application period will begin on January 6, 2020 and will close on January 31, 2020. This gives eligible employees an opportunity during the break to use that time to review their finances to determine whether the VSIP is right for them.

Human Resources will be scheduling meetings after break to review the plan with those interested and to answer any questions that may remain regarding the VSIP and the benefits available under the plan. Information regarding the VSIP can be found on the Human Resources channel on myMCC. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits that may be available to you under the VSIP, please contact Suzanne Bureau at extension 2113 or Sandy Warren at 2106 and an estimated benefit will be prepared for you. In addition to the estimate, you will receive a comparison of MCC retirement options, a FAQ document regarding the VSIP, and information regarding Medicare coverage costs and plans.

Fingar, Melissa
Human Resources
12/17/2019