Skip to Main Content

Voluntary Separation Incentive Program

Voluntary Staff Separation Incentive Program 2020

The University of Massachusetts Lowell (the “University” or “UMass Lowell”) has implemented a Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan for Staff (“VSIP” or “Plan”). Read the letter (pdf)


Eligibility is subject to agreement between the university and the employee’s bargaining unit representative. Eligibility is also limited to employees, including non-unit, who are:

  • active or on an approved leave and
  • have received a notice of layoff; and
  • have been employed at UMass Lowell in a benefited position for at least five years as of the date of separation from employment. 

Those employees who had already notified the university of their plans to resign/retire prior to receipt of a notice of layoff are not eligible. Employees who wish to participate in the Plan must notify the university of their intent to voluntarily resign or retire from UMass Lowell on an effective date no later than the effective layoff date. Each employee’s separation date is subject to approval by their department head or dean and by Human Resources.  

UMass Lowell reserves the right to withdraw the VSIP at its discretion at any time should the program fail to meet fiscal and/or operational goals.  

Application and Participation Process

Election to participate in VSIP expires two weeks from the date the employee receives their notice of layoff. An employee’s election to participate in the VSIP is irrevocable once enrollment forms are submitted and is conditional upon their signing a university-provided general release. 

Cash Incentive 

Those who elect to participate in the VSIP will receive a one-time lump sum taxable cash incentive payment. The cash incentive payment for eligible employees who, as of the date of separation from employment, have at least the following minimum full-time benefited employment at the University of Massachusetts Lowell will be as outlined below:

  • 5 years to less than 10 years of service: $5,000
  • 10 years to less than 15 years of service: $10,000
  • 15 years to less than 20 years of service: $15,000
  • 20 years of service or more: $20,000

There will be a pro rata cash incentive for eligible part-time benefited employees. Those whose positions are partially grant funded will be eligible for a pro rata cash incentive based on the non-grant funded portion of their salary.  

Additional Benefits

Vacation time:  As with any employment separation for benefited employees, accrued unused vacation time will be paid out at 100% on the payroll date following the employment separation date.

Retirement sick: For those employees who opt to retire and have at least 10 years of benefited (full-time equivalent) service, 20% of their accrued sick time will be payable within 30 days the retirement date. The University will waive any minimum notice requirements.

Provisions of the Plan
  1. The cash incentive payment is considered taxable income and will be paid within 30 days of the employment separation and a fully executed release of claims.
  2. The cash incentive payment will not be added to base salary for purposes of determining any retirement benefits.
  3. The Plan does not add creditable service or in any way impact the employee’s retirement benefits from the Massachusetts State Employees Retirement System (“MSERS”) or the Optional Retirement Program (“ORP”).
  4. The UMass Lowell Benefits Office will assist any member in providing information regarding their application for the VSIP or other benefit/retirement questions.
  5. It is understood that the Massachusetts State Board of Retirement (for MSERS) or the Department of Higher Education for the ORP will be responsible, and the final authority for any information regarding the amount of the retirement benefits, years of creditable service for purposes of retirement, retirement options and any other retirement-related issues.
  6. A participant’s decision to resign from the University under the VSIP is irrevocable.  

Please complete the Application Form and Notice of Resignation (Doc) and send by email to:  

Please mail the original to: 
Kim Casey
Human Resources
University of Massachusetts Lowell 
600 Suffolk Street, Suite #301
Lowell, MA 01854