Postal Travel Deals

Postal Retirement Information
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 July 2011

Good 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:

"The post 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)."

I 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 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!!

Q 1. 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:

2010- 60,000.00
2009- 57,200.00
2008- 54,100.00
2007- 51,800.00
2006- 49,000.00**total 272,100.00 divided by 5 (yrs)= $54,420


2010- 60,000.00
2009- 57,200.00
2008- 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 1-888-767-6738.

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 Security.

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.


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 dates.

Till the next time we talk.....Roseanne

Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy

Copyright, All Rights Reserved