As President-elect Trump readies to take control of Washington where he has promised a hiring freeze or worse, worried are federal workers are looking to a new $40,000 buyout program set up at the Pentagon but expected to be expanded to other departments.

Several trade publications that cover federal workers and legislation said that the buyout, increased in legislation from $25,000, will likely be a hit in the Defense Department as the Pentagon moves to cut headquarters staff.

The cash is available to civilian bureaucrats. It was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.

Some federal workers are worried about Trump's plans, concerned that he may go further than a hiring freeze. Transition insiders have suggested that some small agencies or departments could be killed outright. Attacking government waste while campaigning last year, Trump said, "We will cut so much, your head will spin."

Technically called "Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay," the higher rate of $40,000 expires at the end of the current fiscal year, Sept. 30.

The buyout would be nearly equal to half a year pay for the average federal worker. It is also slightly higher that the pay for an average American worker.

According to, other agencies may follow Defense with the buyouts.

Said the news site:

With DoD leading the way, will other agencies be given authority to offer buyouts with higher incentives?

The new administration that will assume power in January will bring a different philosophy and objectives to the federal government. With significant changes likely coming to other agencies, options similar to the Defense Department pattern may come to light as a way of altering workforce composition.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at