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Information on this page is provided by Roseanne Jefferson. Roseanne is a retired USPS employee with an extensive background in USPS retirement, disability retirement, OWCP, EEO, Labor Relations and HR. She conducts individual and group counseling and is able to comprehensively discuss the pros and cons of employees who are on OWCP, disability retirement and regular retirement. Roseanne will be happy to answer your postal retirement questions. Contact Roseanne at
Postal Retirement Q&A February 2014
 Good Day Postal Employees - I would like to thank each and every one of you out there who have contacted me or have simply just prayed or sent healing wishes to for my daughter, Hope. Churches all over the country, in a host of the so many different denominations have prayer chains, or her name on the church's prayer scroll, we thank you. And a sincere and humble thanks for the many "silent plea's" that are whispered in prayer for her to be rid of this cancer. Although not out of the woods, we have been able to say that�..Hope is in remission right now. She has been able to, for the first time in 11 months, not be actively receiving chemotherapy; radiation treatments, or the combination of both. Words cannot express how grateful and amazed I am, at the outpouring of prayer and concern. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, as does our entire family. There is an expression that my mother used for years�and it took me years to understand the gravity of it, she would say�."There - but for the grace of God, go I". It's to gently remind you that nothing in life can be or should be taken for granted, and what happens to your fellow man, or family member or co-worker�.by God's infinite grace�that is not you..because it could be�.and that is what the statement meant.

Yesterday...February 1, 2014 the day began without many postmasters, that were employed the day before. Those retiring effective January 31, 2014 a SINCERE Congratulations to you all. Anyone that can "make it" through 20, 25 & 30+ POSTAL YEARS�a tip of the hat is to you, and to all those employees that retired in 2013.

And what is wrong with making the damn stamp 50 cents really!!! �.We are already going up 3 cents, what the hell is another penny! I think the public is more pissed about the 49 cents than would be if you just make the stamp with an even figure (for a change). What�so in two years up by another 2 cents�.truly stupid, at least from the public's eye, and ah�.that is who buys our products PMG!! the public, who really LIKE even figures... damn!!!

Can we all not agree that there is a deep correlation between postal years and "canine" years, what !?? it's like 1 to 6 or 7 !! You can work there 20 years and feel like it has been every bit of 40 years, or more�.actually�.we sometimes say�"I have been here my whole lifetime". We as postal employees must cram SO MUCH into a year with all the changes that take place in the post office,( or the FEW that are site/office specific)on a monthly or sometimes a weekly basis�.every�.single�.year! OH, you know the drill (local Mgmt.) will say to employees�."I don't care what they say (union/district/area)�.this office will be doing it this way", so that by the time December rolls around, it feels like it's been 4 or 5 years of changes, new position titles, new supervisors�new rules�.old rules not enforced�& new employees that have such a remarkable difference in how they are paid, what type of leave (if any) they earn, or even if they "really are a career employee"; or a maybe "management employee", issues that almost defy logic !! As I said we know the drill, we know what that they do!! So now that with this group of postmasters that have left, let's see what "changes" are in store for our organization. Because�.YOU can't keep reducing your staffing, withOUT a reduction of the work THAT IS CLEARLY STILL THERE�or there would not BE THE OMG�OVER THE TOP�..OVERTIME, and Penalty time, I have seen on pay stubs�.all over the country. This is not isolated to one district or state, it's nation wide. There HAS TO BE a restructure of EPIC proportions for this organization to survive. So I am saying this to all�.the organization�.it cannot keep this pace�something has to change, and with this recent round of early out PM's gone� they say, let the games begin��..

I have been plagued this month with so many emails requesting "insider information" which by the way I DO NOT HAVE�wanting to know if I think there is going to be an early out. Many write with this scenario age 61 and have 32 years of service, and are looking for an early out. Because you Mr/Ms Age 61 with 32 years of service�.really are NOT LOOKING FOR an early out�.what you REALLY ARE LOOKING FOR IS AN "incentive". So be clear when you are asking me these questions�there is a difference between JUST an early out, AND an INCENTIVE (another word for $$) in conjunction with an early out�.I am saying AGAIN��.I don't see it�..the incentive, I just don't. However more early outs�.yes, those I see in the future.

Q 1. Hi Roseanne, Hope your New Year has started well, and we are all praying for your daughter. I just wanted to thank you for your advice and helping me to decide to �take the plunge�, and retire from the Postal Service, effective 1-3-14. It was indeed scary to think of retiring from the Postal Service after having been a �walking� letter carrier for nearly 37 years (the last 20 years on the same route). I won�t get into the details of how the job of carrying mail has sadly deteriorated is so very many ways, but I have been thinking all day about how with pressure from �above�, managers have added so much time to most of the routes that it is becoming nearly impossible to get the routes done in 8 hours. Now with the explosion of the on-line parcel ordering, many of the routes find themselves having to deliver well past 5:00 (and some days to 7:00 or later). The next day you have to �argue and fight�, with the carrier foreman to attempt to justify your actions of the previous day (as they wave the all mighty �print-out� in your face). I do believe that if they had not decided to cave to the idiocy of doing away with 3 or 4 routes at every station, then most carriers would be getting back way before 5:00, and a lot of the many millions that the USPS has paid out for grievance settlements, and double-time, could have been avoided. Used to be the carriers that wanted overtime could work it when they wanted to, instead of being forced to carry 2 and 3 hours every single day. I also believe that even though hiring and staffing a few more clerks at every station may result in a larger initial payroll, in the long run, it would actually save them money. Cutting and slashing personnel, and adding time to all of the routes has been a disaster as far as I�m concerned. I know things change constantly, but I think the PO is shooting themselves in the foot by doing what they are doing.
I�ll get nostalgic for a minute, in the �old days�, we had time to talk to our patrons, I went out of my way to check on people, buy some of the older people, or businesses stamps when they needed them, and even had time to take a lunch and the two 10 minute breaks that we are entitled to. We came in at 6:00 A.M., the mail and parcels were there ready to work. We got off at 2:30; or 3:00 if you came in at 6:30 A.M. For the very first time since I have been in the Postal Service, we did not have a Christmas breakfast at my station this year. Everyone (not just the carriers), are rushed, in bad moods, worn out and frustrated. We used to have bowling leagues, softball summer leagues, basketball leagues, occasional breakfast celebrations (and were given time to eat and socialize). Now, at least in our city, that is all gone; how can you plan to bowl, play softball, or basketball when you never know if you are getting off at 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 or later, and are so exhausted it is all you can do to teeter home, have dinner and go to bed. I used to love going to work. I absolutely loved working outside, talking to all of my customers, cutting up with all of the guys in the morning. It was a dream job for many, many years. Now, it seems to be a disastrous mess, not occasionally, but every single stinking day. The saddling of the carriers with the GPS enabled cell phones, was the proverbial �straw that broke the camel�s back�; for me anyway. Some of the guys viewed things differently, they were able to take it all and not let it bother them. I guess that was one of the reasons that I needed to leave, I just couldn�t stand seeing what the job had become. If you find no joy from your job at all, and all you have to look forward to is the paycheck and an ass chewing, it�s time to leave. I was also physically falling apart. For 30 years I had no injuries at all; then in the last 5 years or so I had rotator cuff surgery, back surgery, a torn meniscus, that lead to a knee replacement, carpal tunnel, and bouts with cancer.
It has been about two weeks, and by all of the stories are true, who knows when I will get my annual leave payout (440 hrs.), or my first retirement check (they screwed my pay all up on the last pay period of the year (26), and I got a letter saying that if any pay adjustments were due, it would delay the payout!). I have put my mom on alert that I may need to borrow some money to make our house payment; sad, but true. Anyway, I have already applied, and gotten a job with the local school system (I start next week). I could have been a substitute teacher, but instead I chose to be an �educational assistant�, making a whopping $9.00 an hour! If I don�t enjoy the work, I know that I really don�t have to do it (that�s a good feeling). I maxed out around August 1st, as far as what I would draw under CSRS (42 years of total service). Anyway Roseanne, thank you for letting me vent, and thank you for what you do. I know you hear the same stories from everyone all over the country. I know things will never be the same, but I feel really sorry for those that will follow because they will never know how it used to be.

A. 1 Hi- You letter is such a true heart felt assessment of life of a carrier at the PO in this day and age. I have many letters that I can use with very similar information, however yours is written with such true insight, that I would like to sanitize your letter with just enough to ensure, anonymity, and use this in my column for February. Please let me know if this is OK with you. Roseanne

R.1 Hi Roseanne!! You can absolutely use anything you want to use, anytime and always. I owe you my sanity. Thanks

Q 2. Can you tell me were I can find out who my beneficiary's are I am planning on applying for my retirement next month and would like to know if there is a place to look at the retirement book so I can prepare questions for my phone call, Thank You PG

A 2. Hi PG, I think I may have answered this on my cell phone, but if not, you need to sign on to postal ease (lite blue). The same system that you typically use for bidding (in larger offices), and that you can review information relative to HR as it relates specifically to you. Once you log on to the liteblue / postal ease, then go to MyHR, after that go to eOPF, you will have to put in your EIN and PIN again. Once you get into your eOPF, then you can narrow your search by selecting certain criteria such as Beneficiary forms and go through the entire OPF if you have to. If there is a concern about who is a beneficiary and you want a certain person to BE the beneficiary�.instead of going through this entire process� CAN simply call 1-877-477-3273 and request a "beneficiary packet" and you will receive all new blank beneficiary forms and you can change what you have, or perhaps fill beneficiary forms that you may NOT EVEN HAVE DONE before. I will let you decide how you feel about your on-the-phone retirement counseling session with HRSSC, with or without prepared questions. After you do that, just let me know how it went. Roseanne

Q 3. I work for the USPS, we were wondering how does LWOP effects your retirement status? Do you have to pay anything back or does this decrease your years of service? And are there any publications or websites to help us in retirement issues. Many people have fled the p.o. since the last early out phase and we want to know all of our options and guidelines that we must follow before we take the next offer. Things are getting pretty desperate in our district. They have hired a lot of PSE clerks to fulfill our positions and there is no where to run. Sincerely, JK

A 3. Hi JK, I have provided a 2 examples for you:
Example 1: LWOP (leave without pay) RTD (return to duty)
 LWOP: 1/1/70
 RTD: 7/1/70
 = 6 months LWOP in 1970
 = full Credit in 1970

 Example 2:
 LWOP: 1/1/92
 RTD: 8/1/92
 = 7 months LWOP 1 month excess LWOP
 = 6 months creditable LWOP
 + 5 months service
 = 11 months credit 1992

And so that is how it works. As for publications�.I would go to, it is a WONDERFUL and easy site to navigate and brings many things to light that you would not get from the Post Office (and truly not their area of expertise) Your district, like so many others have massive numbers of these PSE's and well, new management employees now, and with the flat out lack of true postal knowledge, quite frankly it makes the entire postal system look like rookies anymore. But check into the site. Roseanne

Q 4. Thank you for all your information you put out every month. Its very much appreciated. I am a 56 yr old city carrier with 27 years of service under FERS. I have funded my thrift savings to the maximum contribution over my career. I also have no debt and a substantial amount of personal savings. My question is am I crazy to retire this year vs. full retirement at 30? I realize I would receive no special supplement and would take a penalty on my annuity. My husbands employer will pay us the difference of what I pay for health ins. now and what it will go up to if I take retirement.
I need your advice on all aspects of considering this huge life changing decision. Thank you so much for all your help, L

A 4. Hi L, I cannot think of any employer that would offer such a thing as pay the difference in what "I pay for health ins. now and what it will go up to if I take retirement"�.at least in the long term, I mean how would they KNOW how much they are say "signing up for" to pay, and too you MUST CONSIDER in this payment arrangement with this non-federal employer, the fact that your health insurance is not costing what YOU PAY per pay period, or months as an annuitant�you MUST factor in how much the post office pays in behalf of your health benefits. Just for an example�.a Blue Cross Blue Shield employee who has 105 as their HB code, pays about $433 per month in retirement�..BUT the PO pay $948 per month supplementing your health insurance�by two thirds. So in essence the non-federal employer is NOT signing up to pay $433 per month for you�.its more like $1382 per month.

Not knowing who you husband's employer is (and signing up for nearly $1400 per month, again I don't see an employer agreeing to that. I think it's crucial to stay another 3 years to get full retirement. The Special Supplement you are so willing to "throw away" is at 30 years close to $1000 per month, and that is paid until you turn 62. I personally would not retire, however, there is nothing from stopping you down the road taking the MRA+10 retirement. But, in my opinion it's such a sucker move. I would wait or at least hope for an early out that would cover carriers or all employees. I think that retiring now, under the MRA+10 would be a true disvalue of your retirement. Just my opinion, and you did ask�. Roseanne

Q 5. Hello, there. One simple question for you. I will be retiring and taking an immediate retirement after 34 years in May, 2014. Do I need to apply for FERS special retirement supplement through OPM separately or does it comes automatically along with FERS basic retirement annuity? Thanks D,

A 5. Hi D, Congratulations!!! Retirement is FREEDOM!! As far as your "Special Supplement", there is nothing that YOU specifically need to do. Understand though, that the Special Supplement does takes longer to process (because everyone who retires under FERS is NOT entitled to a Special Supplement at the EXACT time they retire). But typically, if retiring (fully) about the time you begin to see your second or third check from OPM, you will find a LARGE deposit made into your account�.and that is the back pay of the Special Supplement. After that, you will be receiving it monthly until age 61 and 11 months. BUT NO�.you don't do anything to initiate the Special Supplement, nor does HRSSC.

Until we speak again�����Roseanne�and to my followers in the NY State area, Binghamton, Long Island, Brooklyn (holla home town)�..the "retirement lady" says HI!

PS any typo's�.well I still have this lingering...flu�.

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