Early Exit Program

As part of its efforts to reduce the structural budget deficit brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, San Diego State University is implementing an Early Exit Program (EEP). The EEP is intended to encourage employees to voluntarily separate through a severance package. This is a one-time, non-precedent setting program. If you are interested in participating in the EEP, please read the EEP Terms and Conditions. All participants will also be required to sign a Separation Agreement and Release to participate in the EEP.

Process Timeline         

  1. Employee submits completed application form via the Early Exit Program Application linked to the right.
    •  Applications may be submitted starting at 8:00 am on Thursday, October 1, 2020. 
    •  Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Saturday, October 31, 2020 to be considered.
    •  Applications will be processed on a first come, first serve basis in the order in which the applications are submitted.

  2. CHR will review the Employee's application to confirm the Employee's eligibility to participate in the EEP based on the Terms and Conditions specified in the program.

  3. CHR will notify the Employee and their Appropriate Administrator of the conditional approval by email and send the Employee the First Separation Agreement and Release.

  4. The Employee will have fourteen (14) days from the date that the Employee received notice of the Employee’s conditional approval and the First Separation Agreement and Release to return an executed First Separation Agreement and Release to CHR. The failure to return the executed First Separation Agreement and Release within this specified time period will result in the University rescinding the conditional approval of the Employee's application to participate in the EEP.

  5. Once the Employee signs and submits the First Separation Agreement and Release, this makes the employee eligible for 50% of the calculated severance package.

  6. The separation date must be on December 30, 2020. If the Employee intends to retire, it is highly recommended that the employee immediately contact CalPERS, as the CalPERS retirement process may take up to three-four months.

  7. CHR will send participating employees the Final Separation Agreement and Release for review by December 16, 2020. Participating employees must execute the Final Separation Agreement and Release no earlier than December 31, 2020 and no later than January 14, 2021. The failure to timely return an executed Final Separation Agreement and Release to Human Resources will result in the Employee not being eligible for the final 50% of the severance pay.

  8. 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.


Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that these FAQs will be updated regularly. Check back in and make sure to read these FAQs and the entire EEP Terms and Conditions before contacting the Center for Human Resources.

What is the Early Exit Program (EEP)?
The EEP is a program designed to create an incentive for CalPERS retirement eligible employees.

What are the Terms and Conditions of the EEP?
The terms and conditions of the program may be found at the top right of this website, under the heading "Terms and Conditions."

What is the Severance Package Amount?
Please see Section 2, "Severance Package" of the Terms and Conditions. Severance pay is calculated using an employee's monthly base salary (prorated for employees appointed less than full time) at the time of separation.

Why are only six months of incentive being offered to eligible employees, some of whom have been at the University for many decades?
In designing the EEP, the University looked at multiple factors including budgetary constraints and operational needs of the University as well as other similar programs that have been offered at other universities and determined that the EEP is a generous program.

May I receive additional service credit as with a Golden Handshake Incentive?
No. Golden Handshake retirement incentive is administered and directed by the Governor’s Office. SDSU does not have the authority to make service credit decisions. The EEP only provides a financial incentive.

If I am eligible for the program, do I have to take it?
No, this is a strictly voluntary program.

Is there a limit on how many employees can apply for the Early Exit Program?
Yes. Participation in the EEP will be capped at 20% of retirement eligible employees within each bargaining unit, including MPP and Confidential Employees. The maximum number of participants by unit follows and will be based on order of complete applications received:

C99:  2
M80: 23
R01:  None
R02:  3
R03:  102
R04:  7
R05:  12
R06:  6
R07:  20
R08:  1
R09:  35

Is retirement a condition of the EEP?
No, an employee does not have to retire after separating from SDSU through the EEP. Eligibility to participate only requires that an employee be CalPERS retirement eligible but there is no requirement to retire. However, it should be noted that an employee separating from the University must retire within 120 days of their separation date to maintain eligibility for earned retiree health benefits.

Is there a specific time I need to separate?
The separation date must be on December 30, 2020.

Is this plan or the deadline negotiable?
This timeline is designed to provide an appropriate planning opportunity to both employees and managers and must be applied consistently to all EEP participants.

How and when is the incentive going to be paid?
The severance package will be paid in a lump sum, net of taxes, within thirty (30) calendar days of the separation date.

How is the incentive payment taxed?
The lump sum payment will be taxed based on a bonus tax rate of 22% for federal withholdings, and at least 6.6% for state withholdings.  Medicare and social security tax will also be withheld.

May I defer my incentive pay into a supplemental retirement plan (e.g. 403b, 457, 401k)? 
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. Based on the EEP, the incentive pay will be paid after an employee's separation date. However, employees who are already participating in a supplemental retirement plan may choose to defer any portion of their vacation balance to their supplemental retirement plan(s), subject to current contribution maximums.

Can I use my vacation prior to my separation date?
The use of vacation is always subject to appropriate administrator approval and will be determined based on operational need.

Does my supervisor have to approve my participation in this program?
Supervisor approval is not required to apply for the EEP. However, appropriate administrators will be notified if an employee submits an application and is deemed eligible for the program. The purpose of this notification is to ensure that there is a business continuity plan, in place, before your departure.

What will my CalPERS retirement package look like?
Please log onto your my|CalPERS account and use the retirement calculator tool to obtain an estimate of your retirement benefit package.

Will employees who choose this voluntary program be eligible for health insurance if they choose to retire?
Employees who meet retiree health vesting rules are eligible to take their health insurance into retirement. Please contact SDSU Benefits Services at [email protected] for benefit information.

Do I need to sign the Separation Agreement and Release?
This form must be signed to participate in the EEP. Employees will receive 50% of their calculated maximum severance package for signing this form.

Do I need to sign the Final Release?
No, the final release is not mandatory but employees will receive the remaining 50% of their maximum calculated severance package for signing this form.

If I participate in the EEP and do not retire, can I be re-hired by SDSU at a later date?
Yes, there is nothing prohibiting an employee from re-applying to another position at SDSU.

If I participate in the EEP, may I still work for the campus as a retired annuitant?
Only if the employee retires. Rules governing retired annuitants may be found on the CalPERS Retired Annuitant page.

Will this program be offered in the future?
This is a one-time program but may be extended or terminated at any time at the discretion of the University.



Terms and Conditions

Staff, Management, and Confidential Employees

Faculty Employees

Separation Agreements

Staff, Management, and Confidential Employees- Initial Separation Agreement

Staff, Management, and Confidential Employees- Final Separation Agreement

Faculty Employees- Inital Separation Agreement

Faculty Employees- Final Separation Agreement

Early Exit Program Application

Click Here to Apply

Retirement Planning Resources

Access your My|CalPERS Account

CalPERS Service Retirement Information

CSU Retiree Benefits

How to Obtain a Retirement Estimate

How To Complete your Online Retirement Application

Top 10 Retirement Questions Answered