It came as no surprise to me that few postal employees accepted the latest voluntary early retirement offer, especially those under the new retirement system, FERS. The annuity estimates given to FERS eligibles between minimum retirement age (MRA) and age 62 omitted their FERS Special Retirement Supplement. It was a substantial amount to leave out–$1,000 per month in some cases! (see attached example)
The USPS VER website since July 2008 has been blunt: “HR Shared Service Center cannot verify whether employees are on the eligibility listing or discuss individual questions/concerns until application for early retirement is submitted and approved.” This contradicts OPM’s instructions on SF 3107, Application for Immediate Retirement: “If you have any questions, ask your employing office for assistance.” See also CSRS and FERS Handbook for Personnel and Payroll Offices, Chapter 40, Section 40A2; Chapter 1, Section 1C3.1-1.C; and Chapter 83, Part 2.II.F.
The USPS does not have an automated system to easily calculate the FERS Special Retirement Supplement. With 150,000 potential retirements this year, it was too time-consuming for the staff at HRSSC to calculate it manually for those eligible. The USPS should ask themselves, why aren’t they using modern computer techniques to estimate the FERS Special Retirement Supplement for each eligible in FERS between MRA and 62? Is it because they would prefer to do a RIF? If the FERS Special Retirement Supplement is too difficult for staff at HRSSC to calculate, what hope does the prospective FERS retiree have of estimating it themselves?
See previous blog entry: USPS FERS Annuity Estimates Are Too Low Between MRA and age 62
CSRS and FERS Handbook for Personnel and Payroll Offices
VER Offering for July 31, 2009 – “HRSSC Assistance”