UPDATE Regarding Retirement Incentive Offer
(June 22, 2012) The purpose of this article is to clear up any confusion in the field regarding the “irrevocability dates” relative to the May 22, 2012 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the One-Time Retirement Incentive offer for Mail Handlers. While there are some limitations and exclusions, there are essentially three (3) categories of Mail Handlers who are eligible to participate under the terms of the MOU, and who might qualify to receive the retirement incentive payments: 1) Mail Handlers who are eligible for optional retirement (those who have satisfied the normal requirements to qualify for retirement under either CSRS or FERS); 2) Mail Handlers who have not yet satisfied the requirements for optional retirement, but who have fulfilled the Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) requirements outlined in the MOU; and 3) those Mail Handlers who have not yet satisfied the requirements for either optional or Voluntary Early Retirement, but who are nevertheless eligible to receive the incentive payments if they elect to resign their Mail Handler position.
As outlined in the MOU, and explained further in USPS documents and in USPS mailings to all eligible Mail Handlers, any eligible full-time Mail Handler interested in participating in this incentive offer must so notify HRSSC by mailing in the required forms to be received by HRSSC no later than 8:30 pm (EST) on July 2, 2012. There has been some confusion regarding the deadline by which an individual who submits the required documents to HRSSC may revoke that decision to retire/resign (the irrevocability date).
Please be advised that, as indicated in the MOU, the irrevocability deadline of July 2, 2012 only applies to those Mail Handlers retiring under the terms of the Voluntary Early Retirement (VER). Not covered by the July 2, 2012 irrevocability date are those Mail Handlers who have completed and timely submitted the required documents to exercise their optional retirement, or who have elected to resign from the Postal Service in return for the retirement incentive payments; those two categories of Mail Handlers may revoke their decision by submitting a notice of withdrawal, in writing, up to the close of business on the effective date of their resignation, or retirement, which would be on or before August 31, 2012.
Stated another way, the deadline by which all interested and eligible full-time Mail Handlers must notify HRSSC of their decision to participate in the One-Time Retirement Incentive offer is July 2, 2012 (this deadline applies to those leaving the USPS either through optional retirement, Voluntary Early Retirement, or through resignation). Once that notification to HRSSC has been made, Mail Handlers who have elected to retire under the VER may revoke that decision by notifying HRSSC, in writing by 8:30 pm (EST) on July 2, 2012. All others who seek to revoke their retirement/resignation decision have until the close of business on the effective date of their optional retirement or resignation to revoke their decision.
Here is the response from the USPS to a question that was asked regarding the optional retirees and resignations: “We follow the provisions of the ELM and allow them to withdraw in writing up to close of business of the effective date of resignation. The VER folks are the only ones locked in after 7/2 date.”
To further clarify this issue, reprinted below is a question and response from the FAQs issued by the Postal Service regarding the current NPMHU retirement incentive offer as it applies to Mail Handlers who apply for optional retirement (i.e., those eligible for normal retirement without the VERA):
“3. I am in a targeted eligibility group, am not otherwise excluded, and I will be eligible for optional retirement as of August 31, 2012. How do I take advantage of this Special Incentive Offer?
To take advantage of this Special Incentive Offer, you must begin the retirement process no later than 8:30 PM EST on Monday, July 2, 2012 for full-time Mailhandlers or no later than 8:30 PM EST on Monday, July 16, 2012 for part-time Mailhandlers and retire effective August 31, 2012. Starting the retirement process does not obligate you to retire. This action simply prompts the printing and/or mailing of a retirement application package so you can begin the process and follow the instructions to schedule a group retirement information session. Use one of the following methods to begin the retirement process for this Special Incentive Offer:
- Via eRetire – Logon to LiteBlue at the following link: https://liteblue.usps.gov. Enter your Employee Identification Number (EIN) and Personal Identification Number (PIN). Select eRetire from Employee Apps – Quick Links carousel in the middle of the screen. Use the arrows in the carousel to locate eRetire. Click on the eRetire icon and follow the prompts to “Log on Now!” to begin the optional retirement process.
- Call the Human Resources Shared Service Center at 1-877-477-3273, option 5, and identify yourself as an employee who has received the Special Optional Retirement Incentive Offer, and request a retirement kit.
For further information regarding the Retirement Incentive Offer, please review the May 22, 2012 MOU, as well as the USPS-generated Frequently Asked Questions regarding this offer. These two documents will provide all of the details regarding eligibility and deadlines related to this incentive offer.