The APWU has negotiated a retirement incentive agreement that awards eligible full-time career employees a $15,000 payment in two installments, President Cliff Guffey has announced. The first installment will be $10,000; the second will be $5,000.
“Our goal was to achieve an incentive for members who are ready to end their postal careers; to ensure that no groups of employees are excluded, and to lessen the hardships of excessing for those who remain,” Guffey said. “This agreement accomplishes those objectives.”
The incentive will be offered to eligible full-time employees who terminate their service through retirement, early retirement, or voluntary separation. Eligible part-time employees will receive a prorated amount.
Most full-time employees will have a separation date of Jan. 31, 2013. To allow sufficient time to provide accurate retirement estimates, part-time employees and employees occupying Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT) assignments of less than 40 hours per week will have a separation date of Feb. 28, 2013. Employees in Accounting Services position of the Information Technology/Accounting Services (IT/ASC) bargaining unit also will have a separation date of Feb. 28.
The $10,000 payment will be made on May 24, 2013; the $5,000 payment will be made on May 23, 2014.
Employees who had a previously scheduled retirement date earlier than Jan. 31, 2013, may retire on their scheduled date and receive the incentive. Employees who had a previously scheduled retirement date after Jan. 31, 2013, must change their date to Jan. 31, 2013, and meet retirement eligibility on that date in order to receive the incentive.
To qualify for early retirement, employees must have at least 20 years of service and be 50 years of age or must have 25 years of service at any age. (For employees in the Civil Service Retirement System, the annuity is reduced 2 percent for each year workers are under age 55.) Eligibility will be based on a Jan. 31, 2013, effective date. Eligible employees who do not qualify for regular or early retirement but wish to receive the incentive may resign.
Not covered by the agreement are employees who were in a probationary status on the date of separation; employees who were issued a Notice of Removal or Letter of Decision as of the effective date; employees who separate via disability retirement, and employees who separate via transfer to another federal agency.
There will be no limit on the number of employees who may accept the offer, except for employees working in Accounting Services positions in the IT/ASC bargaining unit: No more than 30 employees may accept the offer in the Eagan MN ASC; no more than 10 employees may accept the offer in the San Mateo CA ASC, and no more than 20 in the St. Louis ASC.
Full-time employees must indicate their intent to accept the incentive offer on or before Dec. 3, 2012. Employees taking voluntary early retirement who wish to revoke their decision by must do so by Dec. 3, 2012. The deadline for part-time employees and those in NTFT assignments is Jan. 4, 2013.
Retirement counseling will be conducted via phone in group sessions not to exceed 10 retirees. Employees requesting additional help after participating in a group session will be accommodated on an individual basis.
Under the agreement, where the number of employees accepting the incentive impairs operational efficiency, the USPS may post the duty assignments of employees accepting the offer any time after Dec. 3, 2012, to be filled no sooner than vacating employees’ separation date. If temporary staffing is still needed, Postal Support Employees (PSEs) may replace career employees who accept the incentive for a period not to exceed 90 days from the effective date of the voluntary separation. There can be no involuntary reassignment from an installation while the district PSE cap is exceeded.