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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 Q&A May 2011

Good Day Postal Employees!

Question 1. I recently received and read my retirement package. My question is about the TSP. Am I right to believe that I can leave my money in the TSP and take it anytime I want as an annuity? This being either one, two, five or ten years later. Also, if I send my papers in, to retire July 31, can I rescind them if I change my mind?

Answer 1. You can leave your $ in TSP until 70 yrs 6 mo (if retired). Once no longer employed you cannot contribute to TSP unless you were to move it to another financial vehicle other than the TSP board. You can withdraw all of it, some of it, or draw an annuity or even monthly payments within 1 month to 10 years later or later, again...until 70 and a half. Yes you can rescind your papers until 5:00pm on July 31st.

Question 2. I was wondering..... Do you.. can you answer questions of a pay nature... I asked 2 supervisors.. and my union... Got no answer from any of them!

Answer 2. It depends on the question. I don't have the ability to look at YOUR info on a postal computer. I'm retired. I am unable to access USPS records. But other than that, just ask I can lead you through your form 50's on postalease.

Question 2a. OK goes - I am a letter carrier.. when I first got hired back in 94.. I was a level 5 now a level 1... Then I got a float aka T-6 or level 6,,,, before I got my first step increase.... So I had to start new waiting period before my next step increase ... But the weeks I served as a level 5 were not lost.. They were in , may I say, held in limbo, which I could use later, if I were to back to a level 5... Well to make a long story short,,,,,here 2011,, I am still a floater,, level 6,, now a level 2 ,,, and I still have weeks in limbo.. I can not remember how many now....Lets say 20 weeks,,,, Now if I got back to a level 5 or a level 1 I have to take a pay cut and get level 1 pay... But can I use the weeks I have in limbo,,,, how ever many weeks I have ,,, 20 maybe? to keep from getting a pay cut and keep getting level 2 pay for 20 more weeks?

Answer 2a. - Here is what you NEED to do. You need to contact your local services office at your district office. All offices have report to a district office.. In your case, I know your city still has a district office and local services as well. But what you need is to have a "Step Calculator" applied to your service time. When going from a level 5/1 to a level 6/2, the weeks that you are referring to (waiting for the next step) would be reapplied should you return to level 5/1. If that did not happen then someone either in your local services office (at the time) or HRSSC did not apply the step calculator to your time. If local services is the one to do it for you, trust me, when you call HRSSC they will be quick to tell you that or at least give you the phone number of your HR Generalist/Principal (correct title) of who can assist you in this matter. HRSSC is 1-877-477-3273.

Question 3. -Thank You in advance for taking my question! I am a CSRS. I have 32 yrs postal service, a year of sick leave and have bought back 4 years of military service. Until last week's hearings I was seriously going to stick around 2 more years. Do you think I should get out now, especially concerning the possible rise in health care costs?

Answer 3. - I am going to assume that you are waiting around to be 55? One thing that you may not be aware of, as an annuitant, the post office still pays an enormous amount of YOUR health benefits. I know that when employees look at how much the insurance is when you are a retiree, it seems outrageous. But let me say this, in 2009, when I retired, I was paying 23.05 per pay period, which is 46.10 per month. When I retired, I began paying 92.88 per month. But here is the kicker, when I finally received by booklet provided by OPM after you retire, guess what I found out?? I was paying 92 a month for health insurance, but the post office was paying 277.45 per month for me as well, and will continue to pay that high amount for me until I die. Unreal ain't it!! I say that to say your health benefits are such an good benefit in retirement. Understand that FEHB is the same insurance of all federal employees, including congress and the senate. Therefore, we are getting the best of the best of the best. A rise in health care cost, will increase, but so will the portion of what OUR agency pays in our behalf.

Question 4 - My dad retired from the USPS in 1988, and died in 1995. My mother is getting his retirement annuity. She had an accountant do her taxes in previous years, and they seemed to ignore what was taxable or not. I now have the task of doing her tax return for her.Thanks for any help.

Answer 4. There is a portion of the annuity that is NOT taxable. As an example, a CSRS employee, who put 85,000 into the OPM retirement system, and say receives 3000. per month. That $3000 monthly amount is only taxed on 2790. per month. When a retiree goes to get their income tax done (as I have, and as my husband has) there a place on the 1040 long form that "asks" for the amount of monies input into the OPM system. There is something on the 1099 that alludes to that. Your father was in the CSRS retirement fund. Their is a new retirement system for federal employees called FERS. I am a CSRS, as was your father, so I am reflecting on a CSRS annuity. As far as a source, I would call HR Block, because they are the ones that have done my taxes for several years and I sit there and watch where there is an exception to the money received monthly for me, because it was already taxed when it was earned. I hope I have at least given you a place to start. Not sure if you know any of these numbers, but if you need to contact OPM, the number is 1-888-767-6738.


- Roseanne

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