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
Retirement July 2011
Day Postal Employees!
July's column will start out with a BANG! Recent news has given many
people cause to pause...and rightly so. I have gone through site
after site after site, and every report on websites, including union
websites I have read, say precisely the following:
office said it has informed the Office of Personnel Management that
the $115 million retirement payment made every two weeks will be
suspended effective Friday. The action is expected to free about
$800 million in the current fiscal year. The post office's Federal
Employee Retirement System account currently has a surplus of $6.9
billion the agency said. Because of that surplus the suspension
should not have any effect on current retirees, postal spokesman
Dave Partenheimer said. He said no decision has been made about how
long the contributions will be suspended but "it is not a long-term
solution. The long-term solution is getting legislation passed."
Anthony Vegliante, chief human resources officer, said the post
office will continue to send employees' contributions to the
retirement system, as well as employer and employee contributions to
the workers' savings plans, which are similar to a 401(k)."
have read this like 12 or 20 times, and all I can get from this
is... The post office, which by the way internally, we have not been
known by that name.. in what......YEARS!!!, has informed OPM that
the $115m bi-weekly payment is suspended.........effective
Friday....but Tony V says we will continue to send the contributions
to the retirement systems/TSP.. (WHICH IS THE PAYMENT THAT GOES TO
OPM BI-WEEKLY.) This is your basic and always effective (not) postal
service, excuse me!! jargon. We used to say it has the appearance of
talking out of both sides of your neck....why would everyone just be
OK with this...are we stupid!! And I am talking JUST about the
lunacy of the this statement. The dictionary meaning of suspended,
is to hold-up, pause, delay..this payment, and with the same breath,
contradict the statement by saying that the PO will continue to send
these contributions that in the paragraph above, just said were
being suspended!!! Can you say double speak. So here we go again
having the postal service be ever so TRANSPARENT (Yes.....this is
sarcasm!!). I know they are in financial trouble, everyone
knows...they have been saying it for years...so who is it that
doesn't believe that the postal service is about, as we say....
tapped out!! One would think that would be a good enough business
reason for OPM to approve another early out retirement for
employees, considering they are "suspending THEIR retirement
payments" why not just let them retire if they meet CSRS and FERS
early out regulations. OK, I am off the platform!!
Roseanne I know what you think of rumors so I thought I would come
to the person who knows what is correct not rumor. I would like to
know how to compute the high 5 calculation to see if it really makes
the big difference in our retirement that everyone is talking about.
I still have the work sheet for calculating the high 3. I am under
CSRS. Thanks J
A 1. Hi J, There is a difference in that the 5
years will calculate 2 years of lower salary than the high 3. For
example if you high 5 were as follows:
49,000.00**total 272,100.00 divided by 5 (yrs)= $54,420
54,100.00**total 171,300.00 divided by 3 (yrs) = $57,100
Again using this as a basis for your retirement figure as you can
see has reduced the figure that will be used for the calculation.
Based on FERS or CSRS this is a huge reduction when you see that the
yearly salaries are the same. Bottom line high 5 will reduce the
yearly/monthly annuity because it starts out at a lower figure.
Hopefully this has helped you.
Q 2. Hi Roseanne, My father
worked for the USPS from 1963 to 1977. Would he be able to collect
any of the retirement that he paid in and if so, how would he go
about it? Thanks so much for any response on this.
A 2. Hi,
You can call on your father's behalf. You will need his social
security number. Based on 1963-1977 he would be in the CSRS Civil
Service Retirement System. He is eligible to take out his
contributions if he has not done so already. The phone number is
Q 3. Hi, I have just one question for you
today. If I don't plan on working after retiring from the Postal
Service at age 55 and I don't have the 40 quarters needed to draw
social security. Do I need to buy back military time or I'm I
wasting my money? I'm under civil service retirement plan starting
the Post Office in 1982. I've been told by HR that there is no need
to buy it back if I don't work and won't be able to draw Social
A 3. Hi, As a CSRS employee you are able to have
your unpaid military years credited to your federal years in
service. If you don't have 40 quarters at retirement, then you DON'T
NEED TO PAY IT BACK. The problem comes in when you have some
quarters like 32, and you take a part time job for several years and
wind up contributing to equal the 40 quarters, then your CSRS
annuity will be reduced.
SO - IF YOU HAVE NO INTENTION OF
EVER GOING BACK TO WORK THEN PAYING IT BACK WOULD BE A WASTE OF
Q 4. Hi Roseanne, My husband and I both work for the
USPS. We love your articles and greatly appreciate you sharing your
expertise with all of us. He is Civil Service and I am FERS. Should
we take the Survivors benefit and:How will it affect our perspective
retirements? If he dies, will his Civil Service Survivor benefit
jeopardize my SS retirement benefits and if I die, will my survivor
benefit (I'm guessing this will be the 1% per year of service) and
my SS survivor benefit for him be jeopardized by his Civil Service
Retirement. Thanks so much for all you do.
A 4. Hi, OK, first
your ages have a lot to do with how you handle the spousal benefit.
First and foremost, his spousal annuity to you, will NOT impact YOUR
social security benefits. For example, I am CSRS, as is my spouse
(we are both retired), he has over 40 quarters of social security
and at age 62 he will receive a ss check (as well as his CSRS
annuity). His SS check is just slashed because of his CSRS annuity.
Now, should he pass away, as his spouse I would be entitled to his
SS check, but because of MY CSRS annuity, I will not get ANY of his
ss check. Let me know how old the both of you are and I will be able
to give better information, as well as your intended retirement
Till the next time we talk.....Roseanne