I have been given the option of a PIP or take a severance fee. I am planning to take the PIP, but if I fail I know I am fired. So when I interview for jobs after my termination, if they ask me why did you leave, am i obligated to bring up my pip?
You are not obligated to bring up your pip and there's no way for your new company to know unless you tell them. Just give a vague answer that your old job wasn't a great fit.
You don't have to bring up pip. Your new employer might do background checks to check on your dates on employment. Some records also include the termination for cause details.
However, most employers don't volunteer this information.
When I communicated with the company that did my background check (I had complications with addresses), they literally called to check that I worked on Date A to Date B for X company and if I had any criminal records.
Hopefully you'll find a job before the end of your pip.
So when I interview for jobs after my termination, if they ask me why did you leave, am i obligated to bring up my pip?
Definitely not. The interview scene is so hostile towards candidates already, and it's even worse in the current economic climate. Your overall goal should be to paint yourself in the best light as possible (without lying of course) - There's no need to actively divulge information that hurts your chances.
We talk about this in-depth here: "How do I pursue recruiters if I was fired from my previous job?"
Anyways, I wish you the absolute best of luck with all of this. PIPs are usually the end of the line, but not always! In a nutshell, PIPs require you to be extremely productive over a compressed time-scale. Here's our advice to help you survive: