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Friday, May 25, 2012

Retirement buyout incentive and Voluntary Early Retirement for Mail Handlers


Mail Handlers to be offered retirement incentive

Opportunity for voluntary early retirement or separation: Incentives up to $15,000

Under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by both parties on May 22, 2012, eligible Mail Handlers who choose to leave employment with the USPS on or before August 31, 2012 will each receive incentive payments totaling up to fifteen thousand dollars (for full-time employees).  The MOU also provides a moratorium on excessing in all facilities until at least August 11, 2012 (unless excessing was already scheduled).  This provision should eliminate excessing in some facilities that will now have vacancies due to retirements, and may provide vacancies closer to home for other employees who have to be excessed after August 11.

The monetary incentives included in the MOU will be available (with certain restrictions) to all Mail Handlers who are currently eligible for regular retirement, voluntary early retirement, and all other employees who may wish to separate from the Postal Service.  Any Mail Handler wishing to participate in this retirement incentive offer must do so no later than July 2, 2012 -- which date, as detailed in the MOU, is the deadline for accepting this incentive offer, and also is the deadline for revoking a submitted acceptance.

Those Mail Handlers who are eligible should be receiving a package in the mail from the Postal Service (these retirement documents will be mailed to the employee's address that USPS has on file; an employee can confirm or change his/her mailing address online by logging on to, but in general terms VERA offers apply to employees covered under both the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).  More specifically, to be eligible the employee must:

*   Meet the minimum age and service requirements:

*   Be at least 50 years of age with at least 20 years of service, or any age with at least 25 years of service, and

*   Have at least five years of creditable civilian service, not military service.  Employees may use military service to meet the balance of service required for eligibility.

*   The above criteria MUST be met by the VERA effective retirement date, which in this case is August 31, 2012.

*   CSRS employees must have been employed under CSRS for at least one year out of the last two years, but the service need not be continuous.

In addition, certain retirement videos are available on the "lite-blue" network.  An employee needs his/her Employee Identification Number (EIN) and Personal Identification Number (PIN) to log on at .  Once logged on, the employee can go to "My HR," then to "Browse By Subject," then to "Retirement," and then to "Watch Retirement Videos."  Both the regular and VER retirement videos are available at this site.

The agreement with the Postal Service is intended to provide a financial cushion, and added peace of mind, for Mail Handlers who might be prepared to move on to the next chapter of their lives by leaving the Postal Service – a decision that could be particularly trying during these difficult economic times.  In addition, with many closings and consolidations expected to be implemented at mail processing facilities in August 2012 and February 2013, the MOU also will benefit remaining Mail Handlers to the extent that some Mail Handlers choose to retire because of this incentive.  More specifically, remaining Mail Handlers will experience less excessing and will benefit from more landing spots if excessed, more bidding opportunities, and other results of reduced staffing.   

Please understand that none of the information in this bulletin should be considered as official retirement advice, and the NPMHU National Office is neither recommending retirement or separation nor assuming any responsibility for decisions that you may make about your retirement or separation from the USPS.  We recognize that retirement or separation from the Postal Service is a very personal decision, based on each individual’s own finances and circumstances.  Therefore, the National Office cannot provide individual retirement advice.

Moreover, you may want to seek advice from the USPS at retirement counseling sessions that will be scheduled, and you also may wish to consult with your own financial advisor on this important decision.  There are many personal and financial factors to be considered if you are thinking of accepting this incentive offer.  For just some examples, you need to consider your personal family and health situation; how your health, life insurance, and other benefits may be affected; what your future sources of income will be; and whether you have alternative plans and opportunities.

Again, any Mail Handler who may be considering this incentive-based retirement or separation option should closely review the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding that are printed below, do the necessary research on the liteblue webpage, and participate in a USPS retirement counseling session to ensure that any and all questions are answered prior to applying for this retirement or separation option.




USPS LINK EXTRA - May 24, 2012

USPS NEWSBREAK - May 24, 2012

USPS Mandatory Stand-Up Talk - Mail Handlers - May 24, 2012



Friday, May 18, 2012

Phase 1 Closure or Consolidation List for Mail Processing Facilities

  USPS Releases its Phase 1 List of Mail Processing Facilities Slated for Closure or Consolidation

With Moratorium Expired, USPS Releases List of Closures and Consolidations (Updated May 17, 2012 web post - 7:00 pm Eastern)

(May 17, 2012) Posted on the USPS website today is a presentation outlining the Postal Service’s new “modified network plan” (click here for a copy of that presentation). The USPS also has posted a “news release” that is linked here for your convenience.

This afternoon, the Postal Service issued its list of 140 mail processing facilities to be impacted during Phase 1 under its amended closure and consolidation plan. Today’s public announcement by USPS details the phased-in plan for several dozen closings or consolidations this August, as well as a plan for additional closings or consolidations beginning early in 2013. An earlier moratorium on closures and consolidations adopted by the Postal Service expired on May 15, 2012, and absent any final Congressional action to intercede in the process, the Postal Service has decided to move forward with its first round of consolidations. The original listing of 252 potentially impacted mail processing facilities (as announced by USPS on February 23, 2012) has now been pared down to a total of 229 facilities: Phase 1 includes 48 facilities this summer and 92 facilities in 2013. Phase 2 will include another 89 facilities in 2014.

Click here to view the May 17, 2012 listing of the 140 facilities impacted during Phase 1 of this amended closure and consolidation plan.

Click here to view the May 17, 2012 listing of the 48 Phase 1 facilities (to be impacted during Summer 2012)

USPS provided NPMHU Headquarters with its formal notification of this plan yesterday afternoon. View the notification letter here. Mail Handlers and other workers in mail processing facilities were to be notified via employee stand-up talks (beginning late yesterday) of the status of their individual facility. Attached to this web posting are copies of the various stand-up talks that management was to deliver to employees.

NPMHU officers and representatives have been discussing and preparing for the eventuality of this closure and consolidation plan, and are prepared to enforce all NPMHU contractual provisions relative to the excessing of employees that will take place under this plan. “We intend to work closely with those Locals affected by the August closings and consolidations” said President John Hegarty, “and, as always, it will be imperative that we enforce the contract to ensure that all Mail Handler rights are protected.”

Talks have resumed between the NPMHU and USPS regarding the terms of a possible early retirement incentive (VERA), and details will be announced if and when those talks reach a successful conclusion.

Please visit the NPMHU website again for the latest information.

View the list of 140 facilties impacted under Phase 1 under this May 17, 2012 Amended Closure and Consolidation Plan

Click here to view the May 17, 2012 listing of the 48 Phase 1 facilities (to be impacted during Summer 2012)

View the USPS May 17, 2012 Overview

View the May 16, 2012 USPS Notification Letter

Stand Up Talk 1 – Post Offices and Non-Processing Facilities

Stand Up Talk 2 -- Gaining Site and Others With Changes

Stand Up Talk 3 – Phase 1 2012

Stand Up Talk 4 – Phase 1 2013

Stand Up Talk 5 -- Phase 2 Site


Anniston Customer Service Mail Processing Center and the Tuscaloosa Customer Service Mail Processing Center to Consolidate With Birmingham in August

 Postal Service delays closing of Huntsville processing center

"...Two Alabama facilities - the Anniston Customer Service Mail Processing Center and the Tuscaloosa Customer Service Mail Processing Center - will consolidate with the Birmingham Processing and Distribution Center in August...."


Huntsville Mail Processing Facility to Remain Open Until at Least 2014

  Huntsville's mail processing center is safe for now

"...The U.S. Postal Service said Thursday that the General Mail Facility on Wall-Triana Highway will remain in operation until at least February 2014...."


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Postal Buyout Incentives, Early Retirements, and Consolidations

  Postal Service to announce new downsizing plan Thursday

"...While no wholesale closures are immediately in the works, Donahoe said, "we'll have some consolidations in the summer, the majority after the first of the year."

USPS spokesman Dave Partenheimer declined comment Wednesday on whether the cuts will be accompanied by buyouts or early retirement incentives for affected employees. But the American Postal Workers Union, which represents many plant employees, was notified late Wednesday that the Postal Service is working on an "employee incentive..."


Friday, May 4, 2012

Closing of postal facilities prior to postal reform legislation being enacted would be devastating to communities

  Postal Closures Likely To Start This Summer

"...Postal Service intends to close or consolidate parts of some 223 postal plants to shrink its network and save $2 billion. The closing and consolidation plans have yet to be reviewed by postal regulators...."

Reference: Postal News  

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