Workplace issues

Planning to retire

Information for NALC members planning to retire soon

While the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) makes all decisions regarding retirement entitlement, current employees are required to apply for retirement through the USPS Human Resources Shared Services (HRSSC).

HRSSC can be reached by calling 877-477-3273, option 5.

When calling HRSSC, be prepared to provide your Employee ID and PIN.

Upon request, HRSSC will:

Mail an individualized annuity estimate based on a projected retirement date provided by the employee;

Schedule and provide telephonic individual pre-retirement counseling;

Mail a packet of information (usually called the ‘blue book’) of forms and guidance.

HRSSC retirement services can alternately be accessed by employees close to retirement eligibility online using the LiteBlue eRetire application. Employees must know their Employee ID and USPS Pin numbers to access eRetire. The LiteBlue eRetire application allows the following:

View and print individualized annuity estimates;

Request and obtain a retirement application packet in one of two ways:

Download and print a retirement application packet;

Order a retirement application packet and receive it in the mail

Schedule a retirement counseling session.

In addition to the information available from the USPS HRSSC, retirement information is available from OPM; and retirement information and advice is available to NALC members from the NALC Retirement Department.

The NALC Retirement Department publishes a leaflet titled “Preparing for Retirement,” and Question & Answer booklets on retirement matters for CSRS and FERS. Click here for more information.

Retirement counseling

Letter carriers approaching retirement eligibility have a contractual right to individual pre-retirement counseling from the Postal Service, upon request. The purpose of the counseling is to promote fully informed retirement decisions by employees.

The Postal Service individual counseling is provided telephonically by a retirement specialist at the USPS Human Resources Shared Services Center (HRSSC). Letter carriers initiate and schedule the counseling session by calling HRSSC at 877-477-3273 option 5, or online at the Liteblue eRetire application.

Letter carriers have a right to this individual counseling on the clock, if desired. When a letter carrier wishes to receive the counseling on the clock, local management must arrange a reasonably private space. The letter carrier has the right to have his or her spouse and/or an advisor present during the counseling. The counseling will include (but not be limited to) assistance with completing forms (e.g., StandSF2801 and any other forms related to FEGLI, FEHB, and TSP) and military and civilian service deposit issues.

If a letter carrier is unable to begin or complete a scheduled individual retirement counseling session, that issue will be addressed at the local level jointly by the union and management.

The Postal Service is required to provide individual and group retirement counseling. That obligation flows from law (the Civil Service Retirement Act and Federal Employees Retirement Act), Office of Personnel Management guidance (OPM is the federal agency that has authority to administer the CSRS and FERS), USPS Employee and Labor Relations Manual provisions (click here and here for the provisions), and national level settlements with the NALC.

Should you encounter any difficulties obtaining individual retirement counseling, contact the NALC Retirement Department for assistance.

Annuity Estimates

HRSSC mails an individualized computer-generated report called the annuity estimate is mailed twice each year to the home address of those employees currently eligible for retirement. Employees who are within three years of retirement eligibility may request and receive individualized annuity estimates by calling HRSSC. HRSSC. Employees within 5 years of retirement eligibility may view and print individualized annuity estimates online at LiteBlue using the eRetire application.

The NALC Retirement Department provides generalized monthly charts showing annuity estimates under both CSRS and FERS.