Brown Asks USPS to Extend Deadline for Postmasters to Consider Early Retirement Package

Postmasters Recently Offered Buyout Package Must Make Decision to Retire by July 2; Brown Urges USPS to Extend Deadline so Postmasters Can Fully Consider Implications of Early Retirement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Roughly 21,000 Postmasters with the United States Postal Service (USPS) have been offered an early retirement package, but they may not have enough time to fully consider the implications of the deal before the July 2nd deadline by which they must decide to accept it. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is urging the Postmaster General, Patrick Donahoe, to further extend the deadline for Postmasters to consider the early retirement package. The USPS has extended the deadline once already, but Brown is concerned that this will still not leave Postmasters with enough time to make a decision. Brown first learned of the issue when his Northwest Ohio regional representative attended the Ohio League of Postmasters Convention in Sandusky last month.

“Unveiled on May 9, the [Post Office Structure Plan] POStPlan includes a Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) incentive offering a one-time payment of $20,000 to qualified Postmasters should they agree to retire by July 31, 2012. However, in order to receive the VER incentive, eligible Postmasters must now submit their resignation by Monday, July 2, 2012,” Brown wrote. “In order for Postmasters to make wise financial decisions, they need ample opportunity to weigh their options and assemble the necessary paperwork. It is essential that they understand the implications retirement will have on their wellbeing.

“The decision to retire is contingent upon individual financial circumstances. I believe that if the USPS further extends the July 2 deadline, Postmasters will have a fairer opportunity to pursue the VER incentive. It is in the interest of the USPS to provide adequate time for its Postmasters to plan their future for a proper and secure retirement,” the letter continued.

The text of the letter, which was also signed by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Pryor (D-AK), and Jon Tester (D-MT), is below.

Patrick R. Donahoe
Postmaster General
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 20260

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe:

I write regarding the recently announced Post Office Structure Plan (POStPlan). It is my understanding that under the terms of this plan, at least 21,000 Postmasters have been offered an early retirement package. While I appreciate that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has provided additional time for Postmasters to take advantage of this offer, I remain concerned about the timeframe given to Postmasters to decide, prepare, and arrange for their retirement. I would like to urge you to further extend the deadline as Postmasters consider this important decision.

Unveiled on May 9, the POStPlan includes a Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) incentive offering a one-time payment of $20,000 to qualified Postmasters should they agree to retire by July 31, 2012. However, in order to receive the VER incentive, eligible Postmasters must now submit their resignation by Monday, July 2, 2012.

In order for Postmasters to make wise financial decisions, they need ample opportunity to weigh their options and assemble the necessary paperwork. It is essential that they understand the implications retirement will have on their wellbeing.

All eligible Postmasters have been sent a “retirement kit” containing guidelines for the VER incentive. Unfortunately, most have only received this kit within the past two weeks, and others may still be waiting on its arrival. This leaves many of our nation’s hardworking Postmasters with less than one month to determine if they are ready for retirement, and if they are, to prepare their formal resignation, mail it, and consult with others. Postmasters will need to consult with the Civil Service Retirement System, Federal Employees Retirement System, Social Security Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration, and their health and life insurance providers to consider options for retirement. Even under the new deadline, the USPS has still not provided its Postmasters with sufficient time to correspond with such agencies.

The decision to retire is contingent upon individual financial circumstances. I believe that if the USPS further extends the July 2 deadline, Postmasters will have a fairer opportunity to pursue the VER incentive. It is in the interest of the USPS to provide adequate time for its Postmasters to plan their future for a proper and secure retirement.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. I look forward to receiving your response.





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