Air Force

May 4, 2012

Programs exist to minimize RIF impact on employees

Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — As demonstrated by the announcement of a third round of Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay and Voluntary Early Retirement Authority beginning 1 May, the Air Force is committed to maximizing voluntary separation measures to the greatest extent possible. Despite this, some bases may find the need to rebalance skills requiring reduction-in-force procedures. So what do you need to know?

When the Air Force implements a force reduction initiative, there are programs in place to minimize the impact on employees and to assist those who are affected, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.

RIF is implemented for various reasons, including when voluntary measures don’t bring force numbers down to a low enough level to meet budget requirements. However, as part of the normal RIF process, the Air Force uses various preventive and supportive measures to lessen the effect on Airmen and their families, said Charles Huerta, the AFPC civilian force integration deputy director.

“In a RIF, if an individual’s position is identified for elimination, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is out of a job,” said Huerta. “An employee could remain at the same grade or be placed in a lower grade and given special entitlements.”

In general, RIF occurs in a competitive area, which covers positions at a location serviced by the same civilian personnel section. Within the competitive area, competitive levels are established that include groups of similar positions, e.g. all GS-11 accountants. Within the competitive area and each competitive level, employees are placed on a retention register based on retention standing. Retention standing is based on tenure, veterans preference, service computation date for RIF and performance ratings.

“In a difficult, budget-constrained environment, Air Force leaders work to minimize negative impact on Airmen, but measures like RIF are always a possibility,” said AFPC Executive Director Dr. Todd Fore. “Knowing how RIF works and what resources are available to help you get through the process is critical.”

To help Airmen understand the process, RIF-related topics are explained on the Air Force Personnel Services website at In addition, employees can find out specific their RIF service computation date, veterans preference and other pertinent information by selecting the My Biz link on AFPERS. Once there, they should click on the My Information folder under the Personal tab to view their information.

Civilians can also seek guidance from base-level civilian personnel advisers and can access resources like the Airman and family readiness center for help preparing for and getting through transitional events.

“The Air Force is committed to taking care of its Airmen,” said Fore. “Force management measures implemented over the past year have affected our people, and additional measures will continue to affect all Airmen in the future. But, we have programs in place and personnel experts on staff ready to advise and assist our Airmen.”

For more information about reduction in force actions and other personnel issues, visit the Air Force Personnel Services website at

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