Northern Ireland Civil Service redundancy scheme is set to open in March
Thousands of civil servants should be able to apply for voluntary redundancies from March, with the first leaving their posts by late summer or early autumn, the Assembly has been told.
Details of how the exit scheme will be operated still have to be ironed out, including discussions with the trade unions.
Finance Minister Simon Hamilton confirmed the plans - involving around 20,000 public sector jobs - were passed at the last meeting of the Executive last Thursday.
He said the programme would be rolled out over the next four years, financed by around £700m the Executive is being allowed to borrow under the Stormont House Agreement.
Mr Hamilton said the scheme will be voluntary, adding: "Agreement has still to be reached on some of the mechanics of it all, but after we have had consultation with the trade unions, the scheme will, hopefully, be open for applications from around March of this year."