Your Common USPS Retirement Questions: Answered

usps retirementWith the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) in action, more and more employees have the benefit of opting for early retirement without completely foregoing retirement benefits. The USPS and Labor Union are making strides in providing a better outcome for other workers working who are working to the fullest term of their careers. This is so that younger generations can have more options to fill in empty positions.

Surprisingly, most workers, who work all their lives in the Post Office do not keep tabs on new changes affecting retirement plans or know only about older regulations that are no longer viable. This article is to help along those, young or old, have a better understanding of the USPS retirement system as a whole.

USPS Early Retirement

Will the post office offer early retirement?

As of early January 2018, the Office of Personnel Management has given the USPS employees the option to retire earlier. The VERA which looks over this change plans to make sure the retirees are cared for financially after an early retirement, a system not so well-developed before.

USPS Retirement Plan and Benefits

Does the post office offer a pension?

Under the regulations of the USPS and authorized by the United States Constitution, retired postal service workers receive the many career benefits which also includes a standardized federal retirement plan. The amount of pension received mostly depends on the retirement plant the USPS retiree falls under. A service holder who has taken an early retirement will most likely not receive the same pension as a colleague who has worked full-term.

Questions: You Need to Ask When Making USPS Retirement Calculations

When can I retire from USPS?

Considering that postal workers fall under the regulations of the Federal retirement plan, you can retire from USPS if one of the following applies to you:

  • The candidate falls under the FERS, is at least 56 years of age and has spent 30 years in the service sector
  • The candidate falls under the FERS, is at least 60 years of age and has spent 20 years in the service sector
  • The candidate falls under the FERS, is at least 62 years of age and has spent 5 years in the service sector
  • The candidate falls under the FERS, is at least 56 years of age and has spent 10 years in the service sector. These conditions lead to lesser retirement benefits than their counterparts
  • The candidate falls under the CSRS, is at least 55 years of age and has spent 30 years in the service sector
  • The candidate falls under the CSRS, is at least 60 years of age and has spent 20 years in the service sector
  • The candidate falls under the CSRS, is at least 62 years of age and has spent 5 years in the service sector

Is USPS retirement taxable?

The USPS falls under the jurisdiction of the United States Federal Government, and therefore, like every CSRS or FERS Pension, the pension received during USPS retirement will be taxed at ordinary income rates. Only the contributions of the retired federal officers are returned sans tax since the tax for that has already been paid for over their careers.

How much does USPS pay per hour?

The average USPS hourly wage is $17/hour, with different job holders earning more or less depending on their position. Below are some of the listed average wages per hour:

  • USPS Carrier- $17.62
  • Postal Service Mail Carrier- $17.80
  • City Carrier Assistant- $16.44
  • Mail Handler- $17.10
  • Mail Processing Clerk- $16.87
  • Custodian- $15.44
  • Cashier- $19.34
  • CCA- $16.54
  • Mail Sorter- $18.08
  • Sales Services & Distribution Employees- $16.87
  • Mailman- $17.71
  • Postmaster- $19.66
  • Package Handler- $12.19
  • HR Specialist- $22.62

What is the starting pay for the USPS?

Again, as mentioned before, this fluctuates between job positions within the USPS. The USPS employees can be divided into three categories: letter carriers, mail handlers, and postal clerks.

The starting pay for each job sector is again broken down based on experience and workload:

Letter Carriers begin at an entry-level salary of $21.29 per hour. The employee can ask for a raise after they worked at this pay grade for 96 weeks.

Mail handlers are divided into 2 levels: level 4 and level 5. Level 4 workers start out at an hourly wage of $15.85 while the level 5 worker gets paid $16.60.

Postal clerks ear based on their level of service, with the average starting pay being $25.41.

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