OPM Response to USPS Decision to Suspend FERS Annuity Contributions

The US Postal Service is facing serious challenges. OPM is sympathetic to the situation in which the Postal Service finds itself, and we stand ready to help the Postal Service in whatever way we can, consistent with our legal obligations and role as the fiduciary for the Retirement and Disability Trust Fund (the Fund).

There is currently a surplus in the portion of the Fund covering Postal Service employees. The Postal Service’s position is that, in light of this surplus, it should be permitted to suspend making Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) annuity contributions. We understand that, based on this position, the Postal Service intends to cease making further FERS annuity contributions effective June 24, 2011.

Both the Postal Service and OPM have agreed to seek a resolution of the important legal issues surrounding the Postal Services’ decisions by submitting a request for a legal opinion to the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the Department of Justice.

Our aim is to protect the Postal Service employees to the greatest extent possible under the law. We have thus determined that while these issues are pending with OLC, we will be able to continue to give employees who retire credit for service rendered after the Postal Service ceases making FERS annuity contributions on June 24.

This determination is supported by the Postal Service’s assurance it will make the FERS annuity contributions it is now ceasing if OLC disagrees with its position. This means that there will be no negative impact on future postal employees’ retirement. Current postal retirees will not be impacted at all. It is our most fervent hope that the issue is resolved as quickly as the law allows.

via Statement by U.S. Office of Personnel Management On Postal Service’s Decision to Suspend FERS Annuity Contributions.