From the National Association Of Letter Carriers (NALC)
NALC President William H. Young said the union is taking no position on whether letter carriers should seek the “early out.” Such a decision must be based on each carrier’s personal circumstances, he said.
“I urge anyone considering the offer to carefully consider your family’s financial situation, the effect this will have on your monthly retirement, and other factors. Choosing to leave your job is a momentous decision,” Young said.
No financial incentives or bonuses are being offered to those who choose early retirement. Young noted that some postal employees may wait to see if the Postal Service offers such incentives in the future, but quickly added, “We have received no indication whatsoever such bonuses are likely or possible.”
The sample offer letter on the website says the decision by letter carriers on whether or not to accept the offer must be made by 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, November 21, 2008, and can not be changed after that date.
“Since the Postal Service will rely on your decision to retire in developing its complement management plans, your decision to retire will become IRREVOCABLE at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, November 21, 2008, the closing date of the VER window period,” the letter says. Individuals who have second thoughts may withdraw their retirement applications before that time on November 21 by submitting a written notification.
The Postal Service is offering early retirement to city carriers and members of other crafts to cut operating costs. Declining mail volume because of the poor economy and electronic diversion, as well as increased automation, are cited as reason for the effort to reduce complement.
Carriers who are eligible will first receive an annuity estimate letter in early October, then a week later, a letter formally issuing the offer and providing information on how to proceed.
NALC Director of Retired Members Ernie Kirkland said city carriers who believe they are eligible but who do not receive an offer letter by October 20 should contact the office of their National Business Agent.