Early Exit Program - FAQ

Administration Building, Room 606

Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Phone: (323) 343-3694 | Fax: (323) 343-3662

Email: [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Early Exit Program?

    As part of its efforts to manage budget reductions, California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) is implementing this EARLY EXIT PROGRAM (“EEP”), to provide employees who choose to voluntarily separate on or before December 30, 2020 with a financial severance package.

  2. What is the application period?

    Applications must be received Monday, November 2, 2020 through Monday, November 23, 2020 at 11:59pm.

  3. In addition to my name, employee identification number, campus email address, bargaining unit, intended date of separation, and monthly base salary, etc.  What other information do I need to have ready when completing the application?

    You should have:

    • The name and email address of your Appropriate Administrator (must be an MPP)

    • The name and email address of your Division Vice President

  4. How do I apply?

    Applications must be received on or before Monday, November 23, 2020, to be considered. 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. In order to balance operational needs, such applications will be processed with a cap 10% per bargaining unit/employee category.  

    Applications can be submitted electronically through the DocuSign application process, hard copy via US Mail or dropped off in Admin 609 drop box.

    Employees are highly encouraged to use DocuSign to facilitate timely receipt of application and to limit mail delivery and on-campus operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  5. How will I know my application was received by the University?

    Employees who submit their application through DocuSign can check on their status via DocuSign.  You will also receive an email from DocuSign when all signatures have been completed. Employees who submit a hard copy of the completed application will receive an email confirming receipt.

  6. Am I eligible to participate?

    You must be a current Cal State LA state-side Management Personnel Plan employee (“MPP”), Confidential employee, or an employee with permanent status in a unionized position. Faculty members (lecturers) with three-year contracts who currently hold a time base of 0.8 (12 WTU) or greater are also eligible. Temporary employees and probationary employees (unless they hold permanency in a state-side position) are not eligible. Rehired annuitants are not eligible to participate in the EEP and you must be CalPERS service retirement eligible on or before December 30, 2020.

  7. If I am eligible, do I have to participate?

    No, this is a voluntary program.

  8. Is there a specific time I need to separate?

    Unless the separation date is identified as a critical position and function, a separation date must be on or before December 30, 2020.

  9. Is retirement a condition of the Early Exit Program?

    There is no requirement to retire, only that you are eligible to retire.

  10. What is the Early Exit Program severance package amount?

    Employees who voluntarily separate as part of the EEP will be provided severance pay. In exchange for voluntarily separating and executing separation agreements, including the release of claims, Employees will receive 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.

  11. How and when is the severance package incentive going to be paid?

    The severance package is divided up into two parts. You will receive twenty (20) percent of the calculated severance package in exchange for signing the first separation agreement (“First EEP Separation Agreement and Release”) after getting conditional approval to participate in the EEP (as explained in Section 4(e) of the terms and conditions). You will receive the final eighty (80) percent of the calculated severance package for signing the final separation agreement (“Final Separation Agreement and Release”) on your last day of employment.

    The first installment (20%) of the severance package shall be paid within 30 calendar days after the separation date as indicated on the First Separation Agreement and Release and Final Separation Agreement and Release, provided the signed document is received by Human Resources within 14 days of it being sent to employee. The second installment (remaining 80%) of the severance package shall be paid within 30 calendar days after the separation date provided the Final Separation Agreement and Release is executed on the employee’s separation date. This will be provided as one payment combined with the first installment if received within 14 days of separation date. If the employee fails to sign and submit the Final Separation Agreement and Release on their established separation date, the 80% will it be forfeited.

    Note: 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.

  12. Do I need to sign the First Separation Agreement and Release?

    Failure to return an executed First Separation Agreement and Release within this specified time period will result in the University rescinding the conditional approval of the application to participate in the EEP.

  13. Do I need to sign the Final Separation Agreement and Release?

    You must execute the Final Separation Agreement and Release on your final date of employment and return an executed Final Separation Agreement and Release to Human Resources Management. The failure to timely return an executed the Final Separation Agreement and Release to Human Resources Management will result in not being eligible for the final 80% of the severance pay.

  14. May I receive additional service credit, as with a Golden Handshake?

    No. The Early Exit Program is a severance package incentive.  The Golden Handshake retirement incentive is administered and directed by the Governor’s Office.

  15. How do I contact CalPERS to determine my Service Retirement Eligibility?

    To determine your eligibility please contact CalPERS at 1-888-CalPERS (1-888-225-7377) or https://www.calpers.ca.gov.  

  16. What will happen with my accrued vacation, sick leave hours, and CTO?

    Upon separation, Human Resources Management will calculate your final earned pay which will also calculate and authorize for payout, your:

    • Unused vacation hours available, if applicable;

    • Personal Holiday not taken by your separation date, if applicable; and

    • Comp Time Earned, if applicable.

    Please note:

    • Unused sick leave hours are not paid out.

    • If you plan to retire upon or within 120 days of separation, you can have your unused sick leave reported to CalPERS (for conversion to service credit).

  17. Will this program be offered in the future?

    This is a one-time, non-precedent setting program for Cal State LA.

  18. When will this program end?

    The application period starts Monday, November 2, 2020 through Monday, November 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm. As this is a one-time allocation of funds, termination of the Early Exit Program may occur at any time at management’s discretion including but not limited to expenditure of funds allocated. There is no guarantee an application will be processed before termination of the Early Exit Program.

  19. If I participate in the Early Exit Program and do not retire, can I be re-hired by Cal State LA at a later date?

    You will be prohibited from accepting employment for another position with Cal State LA for 18 months from the date of separation.  This time period does not apply to rehired annuitant positions, which will adhere to time periods determined by CalPERS provisions.

  20. How is the Early Exit Program severance package taxed?

    Severance pay is reportable income paid through the State Controller’s Payroll System and subject to Social Security and Medicare withholding. It is not considered compensation earnable for purposes of calculating CalPERS retirement benefits. Severance pay will be taxed at a flat rate of 36.25% for the following:

    • Federal: 22%

    • State: 6.6%

    • Social Security: 6.2%

    • Medicare: 1.45%

    As the severance package will be paid 30 days after separation, depending upon the employee's separation date, the severance package could be paid in 2021, a new tax year.

  21. May I defer all or a portion of my severance payment into a 403(b), 401(k) or 457 retirement savings plan?

    Pursuant to the IRS, severance payments may not be deferred into a retirement savings account unless it is paid when the employee is still active - meaning the deferral cannot take place after you have separated from the CSU.

    However, vacation payouts may (subject to contribution maximums) be deferred after separation. Employees may contact Payroll Services about this option by sending an email to [email protected].