How to Craft a Voluntary Retirement Program
- Step 1: Identify "Older Workers" That May Be Included in a RIF or Plant Closing
- Step 2: Review Personnel Files
- Step 3: Meet With the Older Workers Individually or as a Group
- Step 4: Draft Releases/Waivers
- Step 5: Consider Severance or Supplemental Severance Payments
- Step 6: Make Additional Disclosures, if Applicable
- Additional Resources
Author: Michael C. Jacobson, XpertHR Legal Editor
Employers looking to conduct a reduction in force (RIF) under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) or other types of mass layoffs may benefit from crafting and suggesting participation in a voluntary retirement program (sometimes referred to as a voluntary attrition program) to ease the burden of terminating employees.
Importantly, employers should be aware that any such program must comply with the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Failure to consider the terms of both statutes may expose employers to costly legal disputes and ultimate liability.