Early Resignation/Retirement Incentive Plan (ERIP) of 2020

Updated on June 17, 2020

Welcome to the ERIP 2020 page. Below you will find Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and additional resources to the right.

If you have specific questions about the program, please contact the Office of Human Resources, oithr@oit.edu, just put “ERIP 2020” in the subject line and someone will get back to you!

What is an ERIP?

This is a voluntary program where Oregon Tech offers qualifying faculty and staff the ability to voluntarily resign or retire from Oregon Tech in exchange for monetary and non-monetary incentives.

Why is Oregon Tech offering an ERIP?

Oregon Tech is offering early resignation/retirement incentives for operational and budgetary purposes. As many employees know, Oregon Tech is experiencing cuts to state funding relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. All divisions within Oregon Tech have been asked to find ways to address immediate budgetary shortfalls and anticipated long-term financial restraints.

If successful, this program will result in the accelerated yet voluntary resignations of some existing employees. This program is one mechanism that may allow Oregon Tech to have greater flexibility with strategic and financial decisions in the longer term. For example, Oregon Tech will have operational opportunities to examine every vacated position to determine whether the position needs to be refilled or redefined, whether certain positions may remain vacant for a period of time—thus resulting in salary savings—or whether some positions can even be eliminated. In short, this voluntary resignation program will offer department greater flexibility in making cost reductions and increased opportunities in making strategic staffing decisions moving forward.

ERIPs are a management tool that may assist in delaying, limiting, or preventing Oregon Tech from having to implement lay-offs in the future.

When is the ERIP application due?

ERIP applications are due to the Office of Human Resources no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, June 26, 2020. Applications can be emailed to oithr@oit.edu(subject line “ERIP 2020”) or paper copies can be delivered to the Office of Human Resources, Snell Hall, Room 108.

If I apply for the ERIP, when do I have to resign by?

Resignations must be effective no later than December 31, 2020, unless approved by the President.

Why December 31, 2020?

We know that every employee performs important tasks for Oregon Tech. We need to have sufficient time to off-board employees, come up with transition plans, conduct cross-training, etc. Each vacated position will be assessed as to whether it must be refilled, and, if so, whether we can hold it temporarily vacant to assist with cost-savings. In short, we need sufficient time to assure that we do not undermine the important work every employee performs by allowing people to resign or retire too quickly.

What are the monetary incentives being offered through the ERIP?

Who Proposed Incentives & Rationale Total
Medicare Eligible Full-time Employees w/ 3 years or more of service as of 01/01/2020 Medicare supplement plans estimated at $4,000 for 3 years $12,000
Not Yet Medicare Eligible Full-time Employee w/ 5 years or more of service as of 01/01/2020, Age 64
1 year of healthcare bridge funding at $7,000 & 2 years of a Medicare supplement plan at 4,000 for each year
Not Yet Medicare Eligible Full-time Employee w/ 5 years or more of service as of 01/01/2020, Age 63
2 years of healthcare bridge funding at $7,000 & 1 year of a Medicare supplement plan at $4,000
Not Yet Medicare Eligible Full-time Employee w/ 5 years or more of service as of 01/01/2020, Age 62
3 years of healthcare bridge funding at $7,000 per year
Full-time employee with at least twenty-five (25) years of service at Oregon Tech as of 01/01/2020
3 years of healthcare bridge funding at $7,000 per year*
*If the ERIP applicant fits more than one category, the category with the more generous cash incentives applies

What are the low-cost and non-monetary incentives being offered through the ERIP?

  • Loyalty Incentive of $5,000 for ERIP participants with fifteen (15) years or more of service to Oregon Tech
  • Staff Fee Privilege Extension up to one (1) year beyond the ERIP participant’s resignation date
  • Free Tickets to Athletic Events for one (1) year
  • Employee Rate for Gym Membership (TechRec) for one (1) year
  • Free Notary Services for up to thee (3) years. A number of legal, financial planning, and real estate documents require notarized signatures. By appointment and at no cost, the Office of Human Resources can have an Oregon Tech notary assist ERIP participants with notarizing documents
  • Career Counseling Services for up to three (3) years. The Office of Human Resources will assist ERIP participants with exploring future careers, drafting knock-out resumes, crafting compelling cover letters, assessing job postings, offering interview training, and conducting mock interviews
  • Winter/Christmas Staff Celebration: If held, ERIP participants will be invited to attend as an honored guest Oregon Tech’s annual winter celebration in December 2020. Please note, it is currently unknown whether Oregon Tech will be able to host such a gathering

How will the monetary payments through the ERIP be made?

Payments will be made as lump sum payments, which will be subject to income tax withholdings. Depending on the ERIP participants retirement plans, directing some of the funds to retirement plans may be possible. OHR Benefits Consultant Sarah Henderson will work with each ERIP participant to discuss the options available to each individual participant.

How are the lump sum payments made?

All payments will be made via Oregon Tech’s normal payroll process. Meaning participants will be paid in the same manner that they currently receive their current monthly paychecks (direct deposited to their current bank or paper checks). However, lump sum payments may be taxed at a higher rate.

If I apply for the ERIP, am I automatically accepted?

Not necessarily. Oregon Tech must first determine whether each applicant meets the ERIP eligibility requirements. If eligible, yes, employees will be accepted. However, the last date of employment will need to be determined through discussions between the employee and their immediate supervisor and department heads.

If I participate in the ERIP, can I later be rehired by Oregon Tech?

There is a one (1) year waiting period before any re-employment at Oregon Tech is permissible, absent a waiver of the waiting period signed by the President. Thereafter, ERIP participants can be re-employed in a temporary or part-time capacity, but never again in a benefits-eligible position. All re-hires must be reviewed and approved by the Chief Human Resource Officer to assure the rehire does not violate the Participation Agreement, Waiver, and Release signed by Oregon Tech and the ERIP participant.

Why do I have to sign an ERIP Participation Agreement, Waiver, and Release? Isn’t my application sufficient?

To best protect Oregon Tech, we have designed a formal Participation Agreement, Waiver, and Release, which details the ERIP participant’s voluntary resignation. Since part of Oregon Tech’s overall objective is to manage financial liability, we have included in the Participation Agreement a waiver and release of any possible claims against Oregon Tech. We want this agreement to represent the full understanding between Oregon Tech and the participant. A legally binding document is the best way to accomplish this.

Can I file for unemployment benefits if I participate in the ERIP?

No. Since the resignations in connection with the ERIP are fully voluntary, ERIP participants are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

If I participate in the ERIP, would I continue to furlough through the Work Share program between now and my retirement?

Most likely yes. For classified and unclassified staff members who are currently furloughing through the Oregon Work Share program, their supervisors would determine whether and to what degree they would continue to furlough through the employee’s last day of employment.

How can I find out more about the ERIP?

The Office of Human Resources will be offering educational webinars during the weeks of June 8 and June 15. More documents and information are also available under the ERIP tab on the Oregon Tech COVID-19 website. If you have specific questions about the program, feel free to reach out to OHR, you can email us at oithr@oit.edu, just put “ERIP 2020” in the subject line and someone will get back to you! For individuals wishing to discuss their specific situation, please make an appointment to speak or virtually meet with OHR Benefits Consultant, Sarah Henderson.